An Interview With Artist C’ecile Duteil (Excerpt)

Sources: The Examiner – By Rev. Catherine Gross | Edited By All Things Michael

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Last week we began a series featuring the artists who will give life to the MJJ Art Museum. We are all very grateful that they have donated beautiful pieces. It is their works that can actually bring hope and healing to so very many. It is important for us to acknowledge them today, while they can see how their work has touched us, and they can hear our applause. It has been the practice of museums to display the works of artists who have made their transition.

Whereas the art lives on long after the artist, there is something lonely about owning a piece of art because the artist is no longer here to share. Our purpose is to create unity through a living art experience. Cécile Duteil will be speaking to us today.

As a result, you are really a fantastic artist… What motivated you to become a Michael artist?

It’s a long story. I’ll start with my first job experience in Disneyland Paris, in 1997. That’s when I first “crossed paths” with Michael Jackson. As all his fans know, Michael loved to go to Disneyland when he was spending some time in France. He was staying at Disneyland Hotel, the beautiful hotel at the entrance of the park. I remember having worked right under his windows when he was there! At that time I was not a fan yet, although there were many songs of him I appreciated. And several of his song videos were among my favorites.

I did not meet him personally but one day before we left work, our team leader told us that some tickets for Michael’s concert were available. They had been graciously given on behalf of Michael to the attention of the Cast Members (that’s how Disneyland employees are called). Such an offer could not be refused! I even had the chance to get 2 tickets, one for myself and one for my brother who was a student then – and we shared the same apartment.

So we attended the HIStory concert in Paris, Parc des Princes, on June 29th, 1997. There is no need to describe how a King of Pop concert is like ! It is a precious, unique experience. My favorite memory of it is Earth Song. Now when I listen to this song and close my eyes, those images of him hanging at the “cherry picker” come back to my mind. He was like flying over our heads in acrobatic postures, putting all his soul and passion into this song.

Believe me I was crying like a child when I found the concert ticket again, after Michael’s passing. I had moved to several places since then, and I was afraid I could have lost it. It was kept in my 1997 agenda book ! Then how did I become a fan?

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Yes.. how did you become a fan?

The life of famous people is something I’m not interested in, most of the time. So I like to listen to music, to watch some song videos but don’t know much about the artists’ life.

On July 7th, 2009, the Michael Jackson Memorial was aired on TV. Like many people on the planet, I did not miss this final goodbye to the most famous superstar. And after the Memorial, the Bucharest concert was broadcast on the same TV channel. Although it was late and I felt sleepy, I could not get my eyes off the screen. There was a powerful feeling in my guts. He ignited something in me.

I thought it would not last, but day after day I wanted to learn more about him. Why did this not happen when I saw him live on stage ? I don’t know, this was probably not meant to be the right time then. Maybe it’s because I was a bit too far from the scene and there were taller people in front of me.

Now I have learned from many other fans that something special happened for them too, after Michael passed. The sky only knows how or why it happens, but we agree that there is a spiritual connection with Michael.

So in 2009 I started discovering nearly all about Michael’s life and what I learned made me love and admire him more each day. He was -and still is- such a loving and inspiring soul!

Naturally came my eagerness to draw or paint portraits of him. He’s so graceful, be it his movements, his smile, his deep gaze or his interactions with others! He has become my masculine muse. And other fans are encouraging me a lot when they write how they appreciate my artwork. This means a lot to me. I want to share more of it with them since they enjoy it. Seeing other great fan-art pieces is also a significant emulation to me.

Last year I illustrated Smile Effect, Brenda Jenkyns’ beautiful story inspired by Michael’s smile, and it was a wonderful experience. I thank her very much for this. Here and then I’ve had a few drawings also published in fans collective books. I’m thankful to all the kind people who have given me these opportunities.

Several fans who support or manage charity projects have proposed me lovely ideas and ways to contribute with art. This is part of my motivation too, because it is such an honor to perpetuate Michael’s legacy by helping heal the world!

Michael said he was committed to his art, that it was a gift , I can see that you feel the same way too

Michael teaches me a lot. He was a deeply spiritual and loving person. Very learned too. There are lots of meaning and important messages in his art. Somehow, he must have shared this beautiful energy with me and many other fans from above because I cannot explain otherwise how I suddenly turned to be a fan. It’s not a secret anymore -at least for fans- that many of us feel his energy, his spirit. He recruited his “little soldiers of L.O.V.E.” I guess !

Art has been a part of me (another part of me !) from the youngest age. So my commitment to my art is not something I have to question or to waken. It is like a vital need, it is necessary to my balance.

 

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Line Artist Paints MJ And More Upside Down

Sources: The Rakyat Post | All Things Michael

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Rapid line art painting, a talent more associated with Western artists, has found an ardent follower in Perakian lad Joel Raj Victor, 23.

Joel Raj’s upside down paintings are indeed something to behold as they are composed using only using black poster colours and a paint brush.

His talents came to prominence today when a video of his painting for Mother’s Day on Facebook came to the notice of his friends, who rapidly began sharing the video of him drawing famous personalities like Michael Jackson, Bruce Lee and Jesus Christ.

His picture of a mother and child drew praises.

“Painting is an interest that I developed at the age of 5,” Joel Raj told The Rakyat Post.

A software engineering graduate from University Tenaga Nasional (Uniten), his journey to find  an identity for himself as a professional began with his decision to set up his own business, Jobest Cinematography.

“I have never had formal instruction on painting.

“Everything I know I would credit to YouTube videos and tons of practice.

“The world would be a happier place if people did what they are passionate about.”

View the videos of his paintings:

Mother’s Day Special:

https://www.facebook.com/joelraj92/videos/10204306943213300/?ref=notif¬if_t=like

Upside down paintings of famous people:

https://www.facebook.com/joelraj92/videos/vb.1220568661/10204283902437295/?type=2&theater

 

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Houston Beauty Queen And Speed Artist Uses Michael Jackson’s Music To Inspire Others

Sources: Chron.com – By Don Maines | All Things Michael

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Chyna Wheatley dashes out a painting in just 90 seconds as a crowd watches with bated breath.

Rhythms from a “Fast and Furious” movie intensify each sweeping motion of brush strokes. Time ticks away as the music shifts to a Michael Jackson song, then Wheatley steps back to reveal her creation.

What seemed like random flourishes now appears as a portrait of the King of Pop.

Drawing was a leisurely pastime for Wheatley, 23, from the time she could hold a crayon, but she picked up the pace when she took up speed painting.

The West Oaks resident recently graduated with a degree in interior design from The Art Institute of Houston at 4140 Southwest Freeway.

But that’s not where she “stumbled upon” speed painting.

She decided to enter the Miss Texas pageant, which picks the Lone Star State’s representative to the annual Miss America scholarship pageant.

“One of the main things that separates Miss America from other pageants is the talent competition, and I saw another contestant create a charcoal drawing for her talent,” Wheatley said.

That gave her an idea to paint art in a 90-second exhibition.

Wheatley was crowned Miss Houston 2015 at a pageant Nov. 2 at the University of Houston’s University Center.

Wheatley often speed paints in her appearances as a Miss Houston titleholder, such as her performance for an audience of youngsters at Miller Outdoor Theatre that launched Domestic Violence Awareness Month last fall. For that presentation, she chose the Michael Jackson song “Beat It” for musical accompaniment.

“I was inspired in that Michael was all about peace and more specifically, peace through his music,” Wheatley said.

“In the actual video (of ‘Beat It’), he stopped a gang fight and everyone danced with him. This is what I want to encourage our youth to do.

“Bullying and gang violence plague our school systems and our community,” Wheatley said.

“Using an illustration of an iconic figure such as Michael Jackson allows me to reach the hearts of students and engage them in rethinking their actions before they commit acts of violence.”

For more information about Wheatley, visit chynawheatley.wix.com/htoh.

 

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King (A Portrait of Michael Jackson) 2005 At Wellington’s City Gallery Is A Thriller

Sources: Stuff.nz.com – By Tom Cardy| All Things Michael

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This year marks 33 years since Michael Jackson’s album Thriller was released and went on to be one of the biggest-selling albums in history.

Such is the popularity of the album and Jackson, it has even permeated the art world. At Wellington’s City Gallery you can view the multi-screen King (A Portrait of Michael Jackson) by South African artist Candice Breitz.

In the work 16 Jackson fans perform the album in its entirety, from Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ to The Lady in My Life and everything in between, including Beat It, Billie Jean and the title track. At no point are there any images of Jackson himself.

Breitz, who over the past decade has become one of South Africa’s top artists, says her interest in Thriller started when the album was released. She was 10 years old at the time. “I was fascinated by the frenzy around the Thrilleralbum . . . Even back then, the album was of particular interest to me because of the response that it produced, the millions of listeners that it reached, the cult audience that it generated, the way in which it made it possible to observe and track the dynamics of a star and his fans in very stark terms.”

King, created in 2005, is actually part of a series of works of big name music stars made around that time. The first was Legend (A Portrait of Bob Marley), which Breitz shot in Jamaica. “It was the one that percolated in my mind for the longest period of time. Being the first work in what I knew I wanted to turn into a series, Legend prompted me to reflect very specifically on what I was aiming for both formally and in terms of the broader set of questions that I hoped the series would evoke.”

But how did Breitz find her 16 Jackson fans? “I advertised in newspapers, online forums and fanzines,” she says.

“Once fans responded, the first step was to explain to them exactly what I was doing, in other words that I was seeking performers to participate in a work of art, rather than being somebody who could advance a musical career or career in showbiz.

“Some respondents dropped out at that stage. Those who did not were sent a long questionnaire made up of questions about why they were interested in Michael Jackson and his music. The final participants were those who, upon reading their answers to these questions, seemed most invested in Michael Jackson as an icon and as a musician. They were selected on this basis, rather than on the basis of their appearance or musical ability.”

 

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Andy Warhol Collection On Display At Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts

Sources: The Concordian – By Kelsey Litwin | All Things Michael

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A private collection of Andy Warhol prints on display at Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts has succeeded in attracting a new demographic.

The exhibit strays from what has been presented at the museum in the last year. In the 2014 season, museum-goers were treated to retrospectives and views of distant lands. From Van Gogh to Kandinsky looked at impressionism, expressionism and everything in between, while Peter Doig’s collection of paintings transported viewers to his adopted home of Trinidad.

Warhol Mania is a shift that has brought a new generation to the typically classic museum. The collection of graphic design work was curated by art collector Paul Maréchal.

If ever anyone could be called a Warhol aficionado, it would be Maréchal, without a doubt. He has penned three books about Warhol’s work and donated 51 pieces to the Museum of Fine Arts for this exhibit. His passion for the graphic designer’s work might be surpassed only by his passion for sharing it.

Maréchal, who confessed that he could speak endlessly about Warhol, is not new to dealing with museums. Pleased with the reception that the exhibit has had to date, he remarked how great it has been to work with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. “Having only one lender makes it easier to coordinate,” he said.

As a result, two halls on the third floor of the museum are decorated with some of Warhol’s most recognizable pieces, from a hot pink Perrier bottle, to an illustration of Michael Jackson’s TIME cover, to a bright red poster for the 20th Montreux Jazz Festival.

 

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MJ Featured In Light Catchers Photo Exhibit At The California African American Museum

Source: NBC News – By Charise Frazier |California African American Musuem | All Things Michael

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“Light Catchers,” is a new exhibit at the California African American Museum (CAAM) curated by longtime photographer Irene Fertik. The exhibit explores the work of seven prominent African-American photographers, Howard Bingham, Don Cropper, Jack Davis, Bob Douglas, Cliff Hall, Lamonte McLemore, and Murphy Ruffins.

The gallery chronicles several decades of black celebrity life in Los Angeles — actors, civil rights leaders and musicians. The photographers captured well-known faces including a heartbroken Natalie Cole during her father Nat King Cole’s funeral; an enthusiastic Michael Jackson, with his siblings Janet and Randy Jackson; in a rare display, the legendary Muhammad Ali flaunting money as he sits on $1 million in a bank’s cash vault; and Ali in a sports car with a very young Bill Cosby.

“Photographers have to be assertive to get the picture, so they were assertive even though society was holding them down, ” Fertik said.

“Light Catchers” also includes seven portraits of the photographers taken by Fertik. Fertik, who is white said, “My whole life was documenting the black community. I had to be sensitive and engender trust.”

Fertik said the title,”Light Catchers,” was taken from the concept of the dream catcher in Native American folklore. She was also inspired by the book, “Shadow Catchers,” which documents the work of prominent black female photographers. The book was written by Arthur Ashe’s wife, Jeanne Moutoussamy.

‘Light Catchers’ runs from March 20-June 5 at CAAM.

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This Artist Brings Breakfast To Life

Sources: Pri.org | All Things Michael

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Cereal isn’t nearly as buzzy as Serial, but Sarah Rosado is trying to change that — one corn flake at a time. The Manhattan-based artist makes portraits by shaping breakfast cereal (minus the milk) into portraits of pop music’s most recognizable faces: Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and many more.

Rosado’s medium might seem gimmicky, but the intricacy of assembly is what makes these images stand out. If Georges Seurat had Fruity Pebbles (and a camera) lying around, he might have ended up with something like this portrait of Pharrell.

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Rosado’s other work also plays with unusual materials. In a series called “Dirty Little Secrets,” she shapes dirt and mulch into whimsical, stencil-like images of animals and recognizable skylines.

As far as her breakfast cereal portraits go, her personal favorite is a likeness of Alicia Keys. “I think I nailed that one,” she says.

Her love of cereal is more than an artistic choice. “I eat corn flakes almost every day,” she says. “And I always add sliced bananas.” But Rosado keeps her breakfast and art separate: She always buys one box for playing, and one for human consumption.

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MJ Featured In Revolutions 2 Music Art Exhibit At Forest Lawn – Glendale

Sources: SBSun – By Michelle Mills | All Things Michael

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Since Alex Steinweiss created the first record cover for Columbia Records in 1938, music and art have had a love affair.

The Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale celebrated this union 10 years ago with the exhibition “Revolutions,” toasting the artists behind seminal work linked to the music of the 1960s-’80s. And now it’s revisiting the concept with a new exhibit.

On Saturday, the venue will unveil “Revolutions 2,” a show commemorating its predecessor with more than 175 artworks, ranging from album covers and posters to paintings, photographs and sculpture by more than 35 artists.

“The art itself is fabulous and beautiful. People are familiar maybe with the album cover or the poster — seeing the art and how it was created is interesting,” said Joan Adan, director of the Forest Lawn Museum and curator of “Revolutions 2.”

Musicians from a range of genres are represented, from Black Sabbath to Tina Turner and Michael Jackson, who was buried in the grounds of the Great Mausoleum in 2009.

Exhibiting Glendale artist Hugh Brown started out photographing bands but now works in a range of media. While in England, he shot musicians like the Talking Heads and Patti Smith before they were famous, and later they asked him to design their album covers. Brown went on to become the creative director of IRS Records and Rhino Records.

“I have tons of records in my collection that I bought; I had no idea who the band was, but thought ‘Wow, what a great cover, this must be good,’ and rarely was I ever disappointed,” Brown said.

Music art is a form of advertising, so it’s fitting that Steinweiss came from an advertising background and told Columbia Records that it should put pictures on its record covers — at the time, covers were plain paperboard and sometimes had only the music genre or artist’s name written on them. Adding images boosted record sales.

“So it’s advertising art, but totally creative, and because it was the music business you could get away with a lot and do crazier stuff,” Brown said. “You wanted to push the edge a lot and it was really fun. It was a way to do something that you’d want to do for yourself but get paid for it.”

Photographer Mike Salisbury of Venice sold greeting cards door to door at age 6 to raise money to buy a camera. He has since worked for major magazines in the United States and Europe and photographed celebrities like Truman Capote, Ricki Lee Jones and George Harrison. Salisbury also has been an art director and designer and is noted for creating Michael Jackson’s black-and-white look and Levi’s 501 brand name.

“The thing about the music business is it always was a cooperative effort with many artists and somebody like me taking the picture and doing the design,” Salisbury said. “I didn’t do anything but present it to them, they didn’t dictate and say it’s got to work like this. It was always very much a partnership with the artist and the producer and myself.”

In many ways, “Revolutions 2” will offer a touch of nostalgia.

Artis Lane — a Los Angeles-based sculptor and painter who has captured the likeness of Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones and Miles Davis — said that wandering through “Revolutions 2” provides an opportunity to remember a favorite concert.

“If they went to that performance, this is a way to hold on to it. The painting is the artist’s thought objectified,” said Lane. “It comes alive again for you.”

When: Opens Saturday. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday through Aug. 2.

Where: Forest Lawn Museum, Forest Lawn-Glendale, 1712 S. Glendale Blvd.

Admission: Free.

Information: 800-204-3131,www.forestlawn.com.

 

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