Friday, March 4, 2011

"... if you knew the man you would only have seen a shy, naive and kind soul.", David Nordahl on Michael Jackson

Excerpt from a news article:

An artist has described how he became friends with Michael Jackson after being commissioned to paint the singer in a variety of unusual poses. David Nordahl created the works in his Santa Fe, New Mexico studio, depicting Jackson with half naked cherubs, reading stories to enthralled children and even as Michelangelo's David.
One oil painting entitled, "Field of Dreams," sees the 1980's mega-star leading a menagerie of children across a yellow brick road scene.
"From 1988 to 2005, I completed thousands of drawings and roughly a dozen epic paintings for Michael," said Mr Nordahl.
"The most expensive commission that Michael offered me for a painting was around £90,000 and despite rumours to the contrary he always paid me on time.
"It is fair to say that over the last twenty years me and Michael became friends and it was a pleasure to portray him in such a manner."
Mr. Nordahl said he first heard from the singer in a midnight phone call 22 years ago.
"The voice who I answered the phone to said 'This is Michael Jackson'," said Mr. Nordahl.
"I thought, yeah, right, pull the other one, but I quickly realised that it was in fact Michael Jackson, the most famous man on Earth."
Jackson told Mr. Nordahl that he had noticed one of his paintings on the wall of director Steven Spielberg's office and wanted him to paint a series for him.
"He wanted firstly to know if I could teach him to draw and paint, but I told him that my schedule was too busy.
"However, his assistant arranged for me to travel to Denver when Michael was on his BAD world tour.
"I couldn't believe the world that Michael introduced me to when I travelled to meet him at the Denver Embassy Hotel.
"He booked me into a full suite for six days and we spent that time taking in the sights of the mountain city.
"We even went to the Tutankhamen exhibition when it was in the town."
Nordahl, who shared the bond of a difficult childhood with the pop-superstar, developed his friendship with Jackson over the next twenty years.
"I helped him with planning his Neverland Ranch and marvelled at his relatively Spartan lifestyle," said David.
"He would always wear cheap clothes that couldn't have come from anywhere but a second hand store.
"His shoes would be torn and frayed and his t-shirts always grubby.
"All he did was work."
Despite the subject matter of Jackson's portraits, Mr. Nordahl feels that the commissions were almost a dig at his critics.
"Look, Michael loved children," said Mr. Nordahl.
"He was innocent of all charges in 2005 and if you knew the man you would only have seen a shy, naive and kind soul.
"He was broken by the accusations and never recovered.
"These paintings are a way of seeing how Michael would like to have seen himself."


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