The Easel

Michael Jackson: On the Wall, National Portrait Gallery, London

A London show claims to examine Michael Jackson’s influence on contemporary art. Does it do that or is it just a summer crowd-pleaser? The writer’s assurance that the show “isn’t all wall-to-wall kitsch” doesn’t dispel the skepticism. Few works pay attention to the contradictions and darker corners of the pop star’s life. “Transparently a fan’s show”, is the conclusion.