Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 11, 2012.

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A photographic tour across the US to photograph Michael Jackson tribute artists.

The Michael Jacksons is a series of portraits of people who make a living or perform as Michael Jackson around Los Angeles and New York City, where I have lived and worked since Jackson’s death in 2009. The project is both an index of the refraction of Michael Jackson's public persona, and a look the exploration issues of fantasy, reality and representation as influenced by and filtered through cultural experience. Ultimately the project is a quest to photograph as many tribute artists, impersonators and lookalikes as I can from around the United States, and collect them together in an exhibit and book.

The Michael Jackson performers who are already included in my project, have been greatly influenced by Mr. Jackson’s music, performances, music videos - even his message of inclusion and love. For many, their lives unfolded and progressed with his music infused into the texture of it. Their personal histories are entwined with Mr. Jackson’s life and story in a way that impersonators thirty, twenty or even ten years from now will not, and therefore, we can assume they present a more visceral interpretation of him than their future counterparts.

In the month of May, I would like to travel to Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, Colorado and Illinois to meet and photograph the tribute artists, impersonators and lookalikes who are living there for inclusion in my project. The trip will take about 10 to 14 days; I will travel by car and bring my camera (of course), lighting equipment and backdrop.

You can see some of the portraits that I've already taken for the project on my website: http://lorenaturner.com/mj.html . You can visit the project on its Facebook page, too - https://www.facebook.com/themichaeljacksons.

Thank you to those who appear in the video:
Leigh Messinger - In the studio, New York City
Sean Vezina - Rooftop in Hollywood, CA
Omar Rajpute - In and Out, Irvine, CA
Charles "Scooby" James - Party performances, Queens, NY
Jovan Rameau - Hollywood Boulevard

Three of the Michael Jacksons are featured on this week's episode of Studio 360, plus a slide show of some of the portraits already created for the project:
http://www.studio360.org

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    I will yell "Thank you!" to you from the top floor of my apartment building in New York City (it's fourteen floors and I have a megaphone).

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    I will type your name letter by letter as well as the phrase "Thank you" next to it on the project's Facebook page.

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    A postcard and note from me made from an instant digital picture taken while on my trip.

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    A postcard from the road with a note written and signed by me and one of the tribute artists I meet and photograph.

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    8 backers

    A deck of Michael Jackson tribute artist playing cards. Yes, that's right, now you can play poker with Michael.

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    A copy of the first version of "The Michael Jacksons" e-book! It will include forty portraits of tribute artists from around the US, plus other Michael Jackson tribute artist goodies! Your e-book will come complete with an e-signature!

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    A portfolio of five 11x17" prints from "The Michael Jacksons" portrait project.

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    If you live around NYC, one of the Michael Jackson tribute artists will come and perform for your next party.

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    A 24x30" mounted print from "The Michael Jacksons" project. Print will be professionally printed and mounted on your choice of backing. You chose which portrait you'd like. (Please add $20 for shipping related costs.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)