Dana Schutz’ Prescient “Autopsy of Michael Jackson” (2005)


Olympia Lambert has resurrected Dana Schutz’ painting The Autopsy of Michael Jackson (2005) [pictured above] and ponders how much it is worth nowadays:

Anyone care to guess how much it’s went up in value in the past 48 hours? My own guestimate would be at least into the $2 million range.

In an interview with Mei Chin for Bomb Magazine, Scultz spoke about her Jackson masterpiece and raised some questions that are true now more than ever:

I also painted The Autopsy of Michael Jackson. In some ways he’s the most self-made man there is, to the point of it becoming really scary. I was thinking of the painting as a photograph that hasn’t been taken yet. I posited all these question around Michael Jackson’s death: How does he die? How old is he? What shape is he in? What does he look like naked? He ended up looking like just a dead man. Which for me was very strange. I ended up having sympathy for him. There is an immortality about him in life. In the painting there is an autopsy incision alluding to his insides, which is intrusive and contradicts the constant reforming of his external features. In the painting he is very mortal. (source)

Considering Michael Jackson’s many many flaws and the circumstances of his death, he seems more mortal than Schultz’ painting. Also, I suspect that if she were to repaint that image today perhaps there would be figures surrounding Michael Jackson’s body tweeting what they were seeing and feeling–quiet contemplation seems almost quaint nowadays.


8 responses to “Dana Schutz’ Prescient “Autopsy of Michael Jackson” (2005)”

  1. Ggraster Avatar

    I love that painting, but it’s not Michael Jackson. The image you posted is presentation. It was at Moma. The correct image for the Michael Jackson painting you are talking about is here http://www.zachfeuer.com/images/artists/danaschutz/2005/DS_TheAutopsyofMichaelJ05.html

  2. yo Avatar

    seriously, wrong painting. i heard her talk about the michael jackson…she talked more about the white socks. maybe interesting…but she’s not psychic.

    1. hv Avatar

      Thanks for this…memo to self, fact check EVERYTHING…painting looked familiar but my bad.

  3. Oly Avatar

    Whoops. My bad. That’s what I get for doing a basic google image search for “Michael Jackson + Dana Schutz.”

  4. Heart As Arena Avatar

    Yeah. I knew from the start. OK. Not. I waited ’til late enough in the night for you guys fix it. I was totally ready to follow you.

  5. Oly Avatar

    Look, can a chick be excused for some bad eyesight today?
    I only had to do price lists for 13 artists with multiple works in the main space and, oh, 78 (did I say 78 artists????… yes, I did) in the project space.

    In the meantime, Brent, you know you are ready to join us. We’ve got the poisoned Kool-Aid ready whenever you like…

  6. hv Avatar

    Lova ya Oly. Shit happens and good people admit things sometimes go wrong and then fix ’em. It’s all good and I’d love some kool-aid….wanna vacation in Guyana?

  7. […] prescient piece by Dan Schutz: the Autopsy of Michael Jackson (from […]

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