Saturday, March 16, 2013

Obsession - Part 1

Did I ever tell you that my oldest son, Art Boy, was obsessed once?

For the full four years he attended Art school as an undergraduate, he focused exclusively on Michael Jackson… drawings, paintings, sculptures… if there was a studio assignment, he found a way to incorporate the technique being tried into the subject he found most fascinating.
The choice made perfect sense to him…
The King of Pop was the first superstar he was aware of while growing up.
Thriller was his first record, played, for hours, on his Fischer Price record player.
His first name was the same as my sons and even our last names were similar.

Michael Jackson, as a child, looked very similar to my son’s oldest cousin, David, who Art Boy adored… so the seeds of fascination were planted long before college and his ‘art life’ began.

As more disturbing aspects of MJs ‘adult’ life emerged, Art Boy was still fascinated, although now it took on the quality of being akin to witnessing a car accident or passing the remnants of one on the side of the road – it’s awful and scary and horrible to see – yet it’s hard, if not impossible, to look away.

For someone who has devoted her professional life to working with the victims of child abuse, may I say his choice of subject matter was disconcerting, to say the least. 

By the time of graduation, Art Boys vision statement about his work included the spiritual musing that Michael Jackson’s life epitomized the danger inherent in becoming your own God Michael Jackson had been created as a black male – yet he, and his ‘team of sycophants’, spent much of his life, energies and resources, turning him into a white woman. Of course there’s an emotional price to be paid, not to mention gender confusion, in denying the basic reality of who you are. (His reflections were far more eloquently expressed than this synopsis, but that was the gist.)

My favorite works from the ‘Michael Jackson period’ were the 5 paintings of “Harlequin romance book covers” with Michael Jackson as the male hero.
They were huge paintings (by my ‘cottage’ standards); easily 4feetx8feet. My boy has never done anything small way in his whole life!

I was only able to find three pictures from the series; the other two – the Southwestern and the mountain motifs - must be hidden in one of the other 15 albums on the closet shelf!

This one, my personal favorite, hung for years in my bedroom on the only wall big enough to accommodate it – and it was impossible to miss!
One night, as I was reading in bed, GI Joe and a high school friend came into the room to tell me about a change of plans for the night. As they were leaving the room, I heard his friend say, “I didn’t know your mom was dating a black guy!”

True story – and one that always makes me smile… almost as much as I question the poor boys eyesight!

I only WISH I’d looked like this chick!

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