Michael Jackson's weirdest detritus, a photoset

Wil Wheaton sez, "Paul Sheer's photos of his favorite items from the Michael Jackson auction are amusing, puzzling, hilarious, surreal, disturbing, and have that "horrific car crash that I can't look away from" quality that we've come to expect from anything associated with Michael Jackson."

Michael Jackson Auction: My Favorite Items (Thanks, Wil!)


  1. Mmmmm…this is disturbing.

    MJ as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

    Or personifying three parts of the Arthurian legend?

  2. This flikr set must be getting hammered by us right now; the little bit that does load is loading at a snail’s pace…

  3. OMG he’s got a Virtual Boy!!!

    I thought it was the coolest thing in the world when I played it so long in a Toys R Us that my family left me behind. You put your whole face in the goggles and lose track of time or surroundings.

    Then I never saw it again, or heard anybody mention it until I eventually convinced myself the whole thing was a figment of my imagination.

  4. The text behind the sword — “I am the thinker, the thinking, the thought,” et cetera — makes me think MJ was reading the Bhagavad Gita.

  5. ‘That is one white sword. What’s it supposed to be made of?’

    Not ‘Glass’.

    But purest, whitest Light.

  6. It really is true – money can’t buy taste OR class. I don’t think there’s one thing in this collection that I don’t find ugly as hell. YMMV, of course.

  7. Anyone know the back story on the ghoulish child mannequins with red frizzy hair and missing teeth?

    WTF ARE they!!!???!!!

    I WILL have nightmares.

    I was also impressed with the figure of Peter Pan struggling to reign in his burgeoning sexuality.(shadow)

    Presuming that MJ was capable of ejaculating, i can’t help envisioning him trying to manually force his spent seed back into his own urethra.

  8. I’ve got to think some of this was gifted to MJ. I hope at least of few of those portraits are elaborate fan art given by the obsessed.

    The signage from zoo and entrances are just sad, but those creepy children and baby sculptures, WTF is up with those?

  9. ‘when you take the commission for work like that, how do you keep a straight face?’


    i wanna know what white geezer’s doin’ teh knighting/crowning in that tryptich. surely a metaphor for MJ’s surgical journey to the light side…

  10. I dunno. I still mostly pity Jackson. One heck of a song-and-dance man, but I get the feeling that he still thinks of himself very much as the pre-teen member of the Jackson 5. If you accept that this is where he’s coming from — a very talkented little kid with a lot of ego and an unlimited budget — his indulgences and quirks make a lot more sense.

    Slightly strange interest in kids? Just a matter of finding friends whose sense of play matches his. (Adults who can dive fully into make-believe, or even simply into a board game, are relatively rare.)

    The triptych as knight? Very much make-believe/fantasy… but on the other hand, I know folks who have posed for portrait paintings “in character”; Jackson’s is over the top in degree more than in kind.

    And the film — I forget its titles — which interpolates his music videos and turns him into a superhero of sorts — is very much the same kind of fantasy play. Heck, I know a lot of kids who have made extremely-low-budget superhero videos of themselves; this kid had more dance/musical skill and a big budget but the script definitely comes from that genre.

    So… Arrested development, and impulsiveness verging on mania, would seem to explain a lot. And I’m willing to consider that a flavor of learning disability; if it was just “spoiled brat” syndrome I think the malicious/selfish side would have manifest more clearly by now.

    Like I said, I pity him. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t creep me out on occasion… but I don’t hold it against him. I just wish he could grow past that point before destroying himself.

  11. Poor or weird taste aside, the thing that keeps puzzling me is that several of the pieces seem so poorly executed. Some of this stuff looks insanely expensive to commission, and yet some of it looks like it was done by a middling artist. Proportions are off, faces distorted, etc. Would he just buy anything that someone had already made that featured him?

  12. it’s really too bad that this collection is going to be sold piecemeal and spread all over the globe. after seeing it all, I rather like the idea of some future archaeologist or alien race discovering the ruins of neverland ranch and trying to figure it all out.

  13. True story: When I was 9 or 10, I did a pilot with an actor whose wife somehow knew Michael Jackson.

    This was right around the time Thriller ruled the world, so when I found out, I pestered this poor guy for days and days about convincing his wife to introduce me, but it never happened.

    I’ve often thought that I should track that guy down and thank him. I wonder if he knew that he was all that stood between me and a glowing white sword loaded with Jesus Juice?

  14. The art’s not to my taste, but it takes all kinds. There’s certainly a lot of it. There’s an alternate universe in which he’s remembered largely as a collector and patron, a 21th century Medici, who made his fortune in entertainment, managed it well, and spent it on philanthropy and art. He was weird, yes, but aren’t they all.

  15. Actually, the other thing to keep in mind may be the old joke “Everyone, no matter how famous, has someone they really want to be. … And Michael Jackson… wants to be Janet Jackson.”

    The obsession with kids may also be “darn, guys really don’t get to be mothers.”

  16. Some of these pieces are astonishing. I hesitate to call any in bad taste per se: strange taste, though.

    Is that a Norman Rockwell in there? ( Because if I had the $$, I’d collect Rockwell myself!)

    The 3-D Peter Pan wall sculptures are interesting: especially the one holding the power outlet bar. Marketing as art.

    Oh Hell I can’t stop myself, the stuff representing Jackson himself is almost entirely in bad taste: and would be regardless of who owned them. Geez, it ain’t even Jacko which makes them so: put anybody in place of Jacko in those pieces, and they’d STILL be in bad taste.
    That does not make them any the less fascinating. Like great kitsch. I personally like the Maoist/Christian connotations in the style of the “Michael leading the children” painting.

    Speaking of which, the stuff with/for the kids is kinda…well I was going to say creepy, but it’s not really, when stripped of Jacko’s notoriety in that regard: except insofar that I find marketing to children in ANY context creepy. Many don’t share my feelings about that, though, especially in America.
    Some of this stuff with/for the kids is, like, well…marketing material (as with the Disney stuff); but here, there is no demand for any cash at the end of the pitch: so those pieces seem, to me,as stuff to be used by affluence, playing to gain the affection of children.
    However, the extravagance of these attempts to create pleasure and happiness amongst children (particularly other child celebrities) is not necessarily “creepy” (even when taken to the extent shown by Jacko’s things), so much as as pathetic and sad. At least IMO.

    Nevertheless, these are strange items, which once belonged to a strange man, who made his living in a strange way, while living in a strange land. Amusing curiosities, and thus of some interest.
    I’d take any of these things as a gift (most of which I’d probably try to sell after a while). But I would not pay a dime for any of them, except the Rockwell, if it is a Rockwell original (and the kids might like the Peter Pan wall sculptures too, maybe).

  17. Hey! The first flickr set did not do this collection and the scope of this auction full justice: there are indeed some nice pieces in there, like e.g. the Cadillac, the Disney collectibles, some bronzes, actual “old art”, china, those video games, etc. Along with interesting non-Jacko modern stuff, collected by a wealthy man with an unique appreciation of and perspective on modern Pop mass culture. There is also as one can expect a lot of pure Jacko memorabilia, with no value other than its link to Jacko.

    The link Apollosputnik gave gives a much fuller view: and like most Estate auctions I’ve attended, there are some things of great interest to me, and which I would treasure if I were to possess them. And there are also some things there which I’d destroy (literally), if it were in my power to do so. (I can be serious in my art criticism!)

  18. In a way it’s a shame this collection is getting broken up. I always imagined that Neverland would make a great tourist attraction one day as a showcase of what happens when vast resources are given to someone who is certifiably batshit insane. Kind of like Winchester Mansion, but with pedophilia.

  19. The tricycle collection is of interest. Seriously.
    And the life-size Star Wars figures – they count too, in my book.
    Way cool.

  20. The collection isn’t getting broken up; I suspect Jackson wants to make a museum out of it, although I’m not sure where he’d put it. (Latvia? Singapore?)

    I saw the collection on Friday and my reaction progressed from being overwhelmed by the kitsch (there were a few nice pieces in there, but I assure you, they were greatly outnumbered by the junk) to realizing just how lonely Michael Jackson’s life must be.

    I also put up a bunch of pictures–let a thousand Jackson photo galleries bloom!

  21. This gets to the heart of the crazy!

    “I am the thinker, the thinking, the thought”
    “I am the desert, the ocean, the sky”
    “I am the Primeval Self”

    Noone in MJ’s life, has (or had, because
    its too late now), the balls to slap him in the face
    and say “Get over yourself! You’re not Jesus!
    And stop fvcking with your face– its fine!”

    Noone did, because of all the money you lose when
    you challenge MJ’s messianic self-image.
    Shamefully, only his family couldve challenged him
    thus and apparently none did.


    look at the signature:
    its a “Culkin”


    omg: the lyrics for this song “Children of the World”.
    This is beyond scary:
    “Children of the world, we’ll do it
    With song and dance and innocent bliss
    The soft caress of a loving kiss
    We’ll do it”

  22. The rainbow of sparkly gloves would be good too: provided that the photo of President Reagan meeting Jacko (whose gloved hand is prominent- more prominent than Reagan – in the photo) was displayed right above their display case.
    At least, that arrangement would look good in my den.

    But I admit it’s the table hockey game that really caught my eye!

    PS these last two comments reference Apollosputnik’s flickr stream.

  23. I bet all these Jacko-inspired artworks combined will probably never amount to the price of Jeff Koons’ Michael Jackson and Bubbles sculpture. Our culture is really, really weird.

    That picture with MJ leading a pack of tattered children also is reminiscent of the artwork in the Jehovah’s Witness publications “Watchtower,” and “Awake!” As a JW himself, I bet he commissioned these artists. I always had copies of those publications growing up, since I had JW’s in my family. I always thought it was hilarious that the JW’s vision of heaven always included kids petting a big lion. Very strong selling point, :)

  24. Go take a tour of Graceland – they have a bunch of the cheesy over-the-top crap that fans of all sorts sent to Elvis before and after his death. He kept it all. MJ did the same. I doubt he bought half the crap you’re looking at.

  25. The auction was great!
    I got the Elephant Man’s bones from a guy in the parking lot. When I’m not chatting I hang the chat suit on him now, but Lincoln’s hat falls off because it’s way too small. The big fellow was a pinhead.

  26. Why doesn’t he keep his creepy crap and sell back the rights to the Beatles’ songs, which the surviving Beatles have tried to regain several times?

  27. In case Jacko can’t get his own museum off the ground (since he’s not selling it after all; it was all a “misunderstanding” with the auction house) he can put it in Marlon Jackson’s Museum of Slavery/the Jackson Five in Nigeria!


    Apparently, self-aggrandizement and bad taste run in the family. Happy reading!

  28. #20: Some of this may have been gifts, or the work of friends. Amateur art is amateur art; some is excellent and some… isn’t.

  29. Phikus: “creepy crap”?
    Now that’s a marketing name, for toys or cards to sell to boys!
    “Get the latest Creepy Crap! Collect them all!”

  30. “Noone in MJ’s life, has (or had, because
    its too late now), the balls to slap him in the face and say “Get over yourself! You’re not Jesus!”

    ROFL. And there was me thinking teabag season was over and done with this week…

  31. Creepy and kitsch at the same time. Would be a wonderful set for an 80ies retro horror movie.
    There are many creepy things, the red haired girls, the screaming porcelain guy but really the worst thing is the sign at the end:

    Good Bye!
    FOR NOW.


  32. Try and make name with your own personal life and leave Michael Jackson alone. I love you Michael. You people are really idle.

  33. Ugly Canuck@~46: Yup. Right up there with the Wacky Packs and various “slime” products. You know, for kids!

  34. *shakes head*

    What amount of money did he waste on this crap that would’ve been put to better use being spent on daily psychiatric help? What a broken mind.

  35. With all due respect to some of my fellow BB commenters, I think that people who look at this and don’t see the traces of someone who is deeply and profoundly disturbed are heavily in denial. You have someone who had to repeatedly and emphatically define himself as both a king (absolute and unquestioned lord of his own private realm) and Peter Pan (never having to grow up and deal with adult issues, like sexuality, in a responsible manner).

    A big chunk of his legal and financial problems resulted from his repeated refusal to acknowledge that anyone might possibly think that a grown man who insisted on sleepovers (in the same bed) with good-looking children that he wasn’t related to might be looked upon with suspicion. Whether or not you believe the allegations against him, it’s clear that most of Michael Jackson’s problems come back to Michael Jackson. (And I’ve been to Graceland, and aside from liking to pretend that he was a cop–he collected honorary badges with the same avidity as he did guns–Elvis is nowhere near in this guy’s league.)

  36. In my opinion, it’s not weird at all. It’s a work of art. Although, as much as I love Michael, I would be offended if he is indeed trying to be “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” I don’t know, but we all have unknown skeletons in our closet and things that might be “weird” to others. It just sucks that he’s Michael Jackson, one of the most gifted and undeniably most famous human on the planet and his things are broadcast for the world to see. I love Michael no matter what though.

  37. reminds me of the stuff they found in Saddam’s mansions … creepy, tacky, self-aggrandizing art

    and a virtual boy

  38. “I am the thinker, the thinking, the thought”
    “I am the desert, the ocean, the sky”
    “I am the Primeval Self”

    These are lines from MJ book “Dancing the Dream”,from the poem called “Are you listening?”

Comments are closed.