Monday, February 16, 2009

The Collection of the King of Pop

Yesterday's Observer Music Monthly featured the contents of Michael Jackson's Neverland Mansion, which are soon to be auctioned off in Beverley Hills. The catalogue for the auction represents quite possibly the world's strangest museum. Part regal, part childish and entirely narcissistic, the character of the collection is like a hybrid of Jeff Koons, Louis XIV, Citizen Kane, Ludwig II of Bavaria and Toys'R'Us. Most of the objects seem to exist in a closed circuit of self-obsession: bizarre self-portraits, stage costumes, awards and hundreds of objects with mirrored surfaces that must have reflected a thousand tiny Michaels as he stared into their pointless opulence.

The collection includes a chrome and gold plated espresso machine, a velvet and ermine robe, a single white Billie Jean glove, a mirrored model of Falkenstein Castle in Texas and various paintings of Jackson himself, mostly depicting him as a member of the Royal Family. Most disturbing of all is a painting of various famous figures, some fictional, including the Mona Lisa, Abraham Lincoln and E.T. all wearing Jackson's iconic white glove and sunglasses.

The Neverland mansion was sold on last year and renamed more prosaically Sycamore Valley Ranch after Jackson became a kind of nomadic recluse following his child abuse trial. Neverland itself was a queasy picturesque landscape designed by a child - literally as Macauley Culkin is credited as joint designer - where the follies and grottoes have been replaced by fairground rides and miniature trains. There is a short video of the park which was open to child visitors here and a map describing it via boingboing. All this has been sold off too and the famous Neverland gates now sit outside a warehouse in LA.


Mario Ballesteros said...

this is too good

dontknockitecture said...

this puts the fantastic in Fantastic Journal

Blaize said...

Want creepy? I recommend Jonathan Haeber's suburb-exploration photos of the abandoned ranch right before its auction:
And then his entire photo set from that expedition here:

Charles Holland said...

thanks, and thanks for the links Blaize - I'm gonna post them up the top as the photos are very eerie!