Kadir Nelson spent more than ten years painting the African American experience. His paintings of Marvin Gaye were pointed out to Michael, who then telephoned Kadir to tell him how much he liked the work and would like to commission his own portrait.
Nelson dedicated nearly a year to painting what is now the cover art for Michael’s first posthumous release, titled ‘MICHAEL’. This highly anticipated album will be released in December.
The painting pays homage to the greatest moments of Michael’s career. It features a medley of classic Michael images, from his ‘Off the Wall’ era tuxedo, to his signature red leather jacket, worn in his video for ‘Beat It.’ The painting also includes images of Michael from his 1987 hit album ‘Bad’ to his custom-made tuxedo jacket, pink shirt and red bow tie which he wore in the ‘Billie Jean’ video.