ABOUT THE PROJECT

Michael Jackson died in Los Angeles on June 25, 2009. Since then his popularity as a figure of representation has soared and a kind of sub-culture has emerged that both celebrates and builds upon his artistic accomplishments. Michael Jackson representers (tribute artists, impersonators and look-alikes) are both male and female, and come from multiple age groups, races and socio-economic backgrounds. They hail from large cities, suburban sprawl and small rural settings. To them, Michael Jackson is a lifestyle and a place to focus both their personal and professional aspirations.

       The Michael Jacksons is both a monograph, featuring over 35 MJ representers who live and work around the US, and an ethnography that seeks to deconstruct and understand the motivations of these fascinating people.

       Featured representers: Devra Gregory (DEV as MJ), Scorpio, Apple G. Jackson (Brandon Hunt), Jovan Rameau, The Prince of Pop (Omar Rajpute), Sean Vezina, JenNjuice4MJ (Jen Amerson), Aamir Smith, Agent M (Mario Coleman), Derrian Tolden, J Michael Lucas, Bobby Wolfey, Hollywood MJ (Christof), Mikette (Dominique Wilson), La Quinton Holiday, Lorenzo Coleman, Prince Michael, Maxx, MJ of NOLA, MJs Raven (Crystal Pullen), Mjx Expressions, Santana Jackson, MJ.5 (Charles "Scooby" James), Shari Wilson and Ian Smith

LORENA TURNER teaches photography in the Communication Department at California State Polytechnic University to budding journalists, artists and anthropologists. Lorena has been working on The Michael Jacksons since June of 2009 with the objective of uniting photographic documentary production methodologies with sociological research practices. She lives in Los Angeles and New York City.