A Different Side of Michael Jackson’s Artistry: His Drawings and Illustrations

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To say how Michael Jackson is a bona fide pop superstar because he gave a distinct voice to timeless songs and performances is a huge understatement. Not many people – including lifelong fans – know about the King of Pop and his different side, a part of his life that truly reflects his artistry beyond the concert stages and album covers. He is a great influencer, indeed; but The Baltimore Sun even went as far as claiming he’s changed the world.

Besides leaving behind a body of work that has benefited everyone from the Motown and RnB artists of old to modern day music superstars, his impact extends even to the far reaches of pop culture. In fact, his likeness was used in console games such as Moonwalker and Sonic the Hedgehog 3, as well as the online slot game, Michael Jackson: King of Pop. However, behind all these accolades in the music industry and influence in pop culture, Michael Jackson’s artistry also emanates from the pages of his drawings.

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Jackson’s life has been well documented. For some, it’s a celebration of a once-in-a-generation performer and artist extraordinaire; but for others, it’s the reflection of everything that's wrong with the entertainment industry. A brief history lesson reveals how he was pushed into the spotlight at such a young age, growing up quite literally under people’s watchful eyes. His fans also witnessed his metamorphosis into a totally different person. There are many clues and conspiracy theories about the troubles of his personal life, which are reflected on through his previously never-before-seen artworks.

Early this year, a Florida-based television personality put Michael Jackson’s drawings up for sale. Joseph McBratney has collected, throughout the years, more than 100 drawings of the late pop sensation. According to McBratney, there have been many inquiries about these said drawings, mostly from art connoisseurs. Being also a psychic and drug counselor, he decided to sell the artworks as a way to raise funds for a local rehabilitation center. The collection features illustrations of the likes of Princess Diana, the Beatles, and many other famous personalities. Additionally, to a certain extent, Jackson’s doodles can be compared to that of Kim Noble’s, another talented artist with multiple personality disorder. These pieces have been authenticated and valued north of $100 million.

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Joseph McBratney, like many others who know Michael Jackson, didn’t realize that Michael Jackson was that kind of an artist until randomly searching on eBay and coming across one of the illustrations. After building his drawing collection, McBratney also contacted the private company that now owns Neverland to talk about a possible art exhibit. At the end of the day, for Joseph McBratney, this is one excellent way to continue his mission to help the youth overcome addiction, and somewhat relive Michael Jackson’s legacy through the Joe Brat Foundation.

--Guest Post written by Michelle Philips.

Aside from being a devoted solo backpacker and a local band road manager, Michelle Philips is a lifelong fan of the arts. She always allots ample time every trip to immerse with locals, seeing it as a chance to get a firsthand knowledge of their culture. A few of Mich’s plans are to go travel back to the Philippines and meet comic book artist Leinil Yu.

 Photos: Joseph McBratney c/o The Telegraph