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Smithsonian

Andy Warhol’s Michael Jackson 1984, National Portrait Gallery

Jackson’s 1982 solo album, Thriller—still the best-selling recording of all time—vaulted the King of Pop into the stratosphere of fame. Time magazine commissioned Warhol, the godfather of the Pop Art movement and ultimate arbiter of celebrity culture, to create a silk-screen-on-canvas portrait of Jackson in 1984. The result was an instant classic, but not everyone was a fan. “I finished the Michael Jackson cover,” Warhol said, adding, “I didn’t like it.” The cover, he felt, “should have had more blue. I gave them [the editors] some in the style of the [Jane, Peter and Henry] Fonda cover I did for Time once, but they wanted this style.”

(via 101 Objects that Made America | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine)