An art exhibition of the legendary Michael Jackson is facing criticism over allegations of sexual abuse against the late iconic musician ten years after his passing.
The organizers in Finland that have come under fire insist that they are not celebrating the artist but rather merely showcasing him and his impact to the pop culture.
“We can’t shy away from these difficult subjects but we… we of course condemn all kind of abuse as a museum, but we also want to provide a platform for open discussion and for artists’ voices,” said Arja Miller, Espoo Museum of Modern Art.
The exhibition was very well received by critics when it first unveiled in 2018 in London, then Paris, Bonn before the latest opening in Helsinki.
But recent series of allegations have further tarnished the musician. In a shock documentary broadcast earlier this year by the American television channel HBO, “Leaving Neverland”, two men say they were victims of repeated sexual assaults by the star when they were children
“He will stay as an icon somehow, you cannot just erase him. And who knows, things will develop in different ways. Cos I remember already when he died, people were kind of, ‘OK, now he’s got to rest in peace.’ But ten years later, it’s a new story coming up,” said Dan Mihaltianu, artist.
Artists including Andy Warhol, American photographer David LaChapelle and British potter Grayson Perry are among those that have contributed to the exhibition that has a collection of both old and new artworks.
Many of Michael Jackson’s inspired art works play with the boisterous and grotesque, such as the giant golden statue of the superstar with his domestic chimpanzee.