Over the past few years, much has been written about Arno Bani
’s photos picturing Michael Jackson -mainly because they are the latest photos of a loved and hated global icon.
Michael Jackson leaves me rather indifferent, but I’ve been quite
impressed by these photos for their delicacy, beauty, and their soft,
almost painterly treatment. I find exceptional the “Blue Eye” photo.
The story – now legend – says that while Jackson was in London, was
impressed by a photo published in the Sunday Times “Style”: a model,
enveloped in a shawl looking like an Indian golden armor, designed by
Jean Paul Gaultier and immortalized by a young French photographer.
Michael decided to meet Arno and commissioned him several shots –
including the exact replica of the picture in the Sunday Times,
portraying himself as the protagonist.
Arno was only 23, but his ideas were clear: Jacko had to be as
short-haired as never before, creating a whole new look for the most
intangible celebrity of all time.
In July 1999 he launched one of the lesser-known and most
extraordinary photo shoot in the history of communication, thanks to a
team whose average age is 25 years and four great scenarios, “Blue Eye”,
“Golden Cape”, “Red Background” and “Silver Hand”.
Arno published a catalog in 2010 revealing to the world the existence
of these photos and announcing the auction in December of the same
year. The auction was not a great success; the photos were bought mostly
by Michael’s fans.
“Blue Eye” was sold for 25,000 euros, “Golden Cape” for 26,000 Euro, “Silver Hand” for “just” 9,000 euros,
while various smaller prints were sold for about 6-800 euros. For the
whole sale the revenue was about 196.000 euros, less than Juliens
Auctions gained selling just one of Micheal’s glittered gloves … $
I still think that in the future their value can grow – Micheal is an icon like Marilyn or Elvis.