Michael Jackson Impersonators Examined In 'The Michael Jacksons'
March 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM (PT)
On the fifth anniversary of MICHAEL JACKSON's death, photographer LORENA TURNER has documented the lives of 35 MJ impersonators through portraiture, interviews and analysis of JACKSON’s lasting impact on both the personal lives of the ‘representers’ and their wider communities. ‘The MICHAEL JACKSONS’ is an examination of those who choose to ‘live MICHAEL JACKSON’ and the definitive tribute to the complicated, troubled and deeply gifted performer.
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.
“It became clear to me that these people weren’t so much honoring MICHAEL JACKSON as much as they were creating a hybrid identity through their representation of him,” TURNER said. “In other words, they were performing a convergence of their own identity with MICHAEL JACKSON’s, and in doing that they were stand ins for the affection that people, their audience, had for the real performer. At the time this seemed significant and important, so the next logical step was to find and photograph as many performers as possible.”