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Growing up on MJ

In art school about 5 years ago, we were asked to do a painting on someone we admired. The guidelines were there were no guidelines, the more abstract the better. I chose to do MJ. At first I thought of doing some epic montage of him in his different stages of life. This got frustrating because there was no still image I could create that would come close to capturing everything I love about him. So instead I decided to do a piece on what MJ is to Brian Pratt. Not to the world, not to the world of entertainment, but to me.
I would go on road trips with my parents when I was younger. Probably around 7 or 8. And for anyone that knows me a long distance car drive, or any extended amount of time spent with my parents is hell. You might give this notion a pass because I’m 8 and I haven’t gotten to that stage yet. But we can at least agree that being stuck in a car with adults for more than an hour is hell.
For some reason I don’t remember it that way. I remember my walkman and my Michael Jackson tape that had a tiny little rock in it that would make it skip a little on the ‘Wanna be Startin Somethin’ song. Themeeey haaayyeet yooooouuuuu . . .uuurrrr a vesttaboooaaahhhhh . I would sing along in the back seat like there was no one in the car. My body couldn’t sit still, it would just start moving in weird directions when it heard a snare drum or an AH! from the voice coming out of the head phones. The only time that tape left the player was when I needed to take it out and turn it over.
Its been 18 years since then and I haven’t changed a bit. Except around year 12 I found a store that sold videos of the songs I had been listening to. I would wait for my parents to go to the grocery store and then play the tapes and practice the moves in my living room.
This piece was about growing up on MJ. From a technical aspect its never been my favorite. But as an “artist” I think its one of the very few paintings I’ve done that truly expresses myself.
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