Michael Jackson and Hopper’s night

Todd Grantham’s parody of Gottfried Helnwein’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams (itself a parody of Edward Hopper’s claustrophobic Nighthawks) replaces Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, and James Dean, and Elvis Presley with Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and Billy Mays. Coincidentally–and maybe unsurprisingly, considering how Michael Jackson has swelled like some Borgesian aleph since his death, Helnwein had his own connection to the musician; his art appeared in the booklet accompanying Jackson’s History album. The picture on page 33 of the booklet, titled Das Lied (The Song) by Helnwein, depicts a child who is screaming, or shouting, or singing, or all three with  Jackson’s lyrics from the song Scream. “Somebody please have mercy / ’cause I just can’t take it.”

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