Art dealer pitches for Michael Jackson museum in Dubai on his 15th death anniversary

Jackson was a self-taught artist, primarily using drawing sketches and paintings

By Mariam Qureshi

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Published: Tue 25 Jun 2024, 12:14 PM

On the eve of the 15th anniversary of Michael Jackson's death, Peter Gressmann, a longtime UAE-based German fine art dealer and founder of the non-profit organisation ArtforumUAE, has proposed establishing a museum dedicated to the King of Pop in Dubai.

Michael Jackson, celebrated globally for his groundbreaking contributions to music and dance, is less known for his talents as a visual artist. Gressmann says he has access to a collection of Jackson's works, totaling 140 pieces. This includes a large-scale installation with a bronze sculpture of Jackson himself, considered a notable museum piece.

“Then there are drawings and paintings that Michael created himself,” Gressmann explains. “In all his art, certain motifs stand out—he often features Baroque-style chairs, gates, keys, and the number 7, since he was the seventh child in his family. One particularly unique piece is a portrait of his pet chimpanzee, Bubbles, which shows a monkey-like face merging into an ornate lounge chair.”

According to Gressmann, Jackson was a self-taught artist, primarily using drawing sketches and paintings. “He had a knack for converting everyday objects into cult symbols,” Gressmann says. “His sketchbooks are filled with studies of his favourite objects in endless permutations. Jackson also created portraits, including a small sketch of Paul McCartney and a large drawing of George Washington. His self-portraits are particularly striking, like one humorous four-panel drawing charting his growth, and another darker one depicting him as a child cowering in a corner, reflecting on his fragility.”

"I think a Michael Jackson Museum will bring visitors from all over the world to Dubai for decades," Gressmann states. "I say this not only as an art dealer but also as a tourist expert."

Jackson passed away on June 25, 2009, from cardiac arrest induced by acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 50.


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