Many fans know Damien Shields by his writings on Michael Jackson’s music and projects related to it. Following the successful release of his new book, “Xscape Origins: The Songs and Stories Michael Jackson Left Behind,” Damien has agreed to give MJ.ru an exclusive interview. We used this opportunity to ask him about his life as an MJ-fan, his opinions and the research that goes into his articles and books.
On November 4-25, New York will host an exhibition of unusual art by French photographer Severine known as Love U Sev. Undoubtedly, an exhibition of their works in a gallery is an achievement for any photographer or artist, and such an event is always publicized. But Severine is not just a photographer. She is a Michael Jackson fan.
Michael’s fans have always been incredibly resourceful and endlessly enthusiastic. They keep inventing new ways to pay tribute to their idol and coming up with new occasions to come together and celebrate his life. Every year, thousands of flashmobs are arranged by both professional and amateur dancers, videos are filmed, screenings of Michael Jackson concerts in rented movie theaters are organized. But this time, we have something really original to tell you about.
Michael Jackson inspired artists in various genres. Many modern musicians and dancers chose their professions because of the effect of Michael’s music upon their lives. But there are some who were inspired not just by his music, but by his personality and the persona he created of himself.
Alena Galayko, 30, is an artist from Moscow, Russia, and a big fan of Michael Jackson. I’ve known Alena for 8 years, but I only got to really know her after having seen her wonderful paintings. When you look at her works dedicated to Michael, you are amazed by how alive and real they are. Alena is a rare artist who is able to not only depict Michael’s face on her canvas, but show his soul.
Alena says that she’s not used to being open about her affection for Michael, but she’s agreed to talk to us.
… Ars longa– latin, ” Life is finite but Art is eternal” 25 June 2009, the world media have reported that Michael Jackson died. Established cause of death called an overdose of a sedative drug «Propofol» introduced by attending physician Conrad Murray to help with the problems of chronic insomnia. The tragedy occurred during the preparation for the concert performances of “This is it” to be held in London. According to Michael Jackson immediate environment, concert organizers had put pressure on Michael and subjected him to terrible stress, which resulted in the need to use a variety of drugs to reduce stress. The doctor was sentenced for 4 years for medical negligence. Concert organizers did not admit their guilt. Millions of fans in mourning. Michaels 3 children left orphaned. Close friends of Michael in shock and depression. The world has changed.
Any death is meaningless. Any death is ugly. Any death is frightening and frustrating. Any death is a reason for pity yourself. Death of a loved one causes the desire to find the culprits and causes a rush of anger and despair. Death leads to the idea of complete impotence and this thought is freaking out. Death is never a timely manner, it is always the unexpected, death can’t be natural and no one can ever prepare to it. Michael Jackson’s death is no different from any other death. Needless to say its causes, was it possible to avert it, because a brute fact is it would not change anything. Our selfish motives push us to desire of doing justice, vengeance, but I dare to assume that this is just a protective reaction, because anger is the strongest human emotions and it helps us to numb the pain. Is it worth to think a lot about death, when it’s so meaningless and impasse?
Michael’s death is much discussed, it’s a sad theme that tightens as a swamp, including the consciousness of the terrible details, strange conjectures, scary pictures and endless tragedy of people who loved him. In this swamp of despair, what would be worth to appreciate most of all is paled, the light and positive that Michael tried to give to the people around.
Yes, most likely his death really caused a fatal error of a doctor (or months of indifference to his patient) and nobody really wanted to kill Michael. Yes, of course, he didn’t want to die. Yes, concert organizers have not paid due attention to the physical condition of Michael thereby participated as nobody in the tragedy. Yes, the doctors give him a variety of drugs to help cope with stress, and he took it because trusted doctors. Yes, most likely, a combination of several factors led to this sad outcome, but it is always so, and almost always, remove one of the factors and the tragic outcome could be avoided. You can again and again experience the bitterness and disappointment from the loss of this unique person, constantly thinking about how he lived these days before his death and how he felt. But what is the sense of the eternal mourning?
«Do not pity the dead, feel pity for a living». In my opinion, there comes a time when we need to let go of regret, stop being angry and think about living and life. Michael devoted his life to art, he was unusual, interesting and good man. I don’t think that he wanted to have his army of fans turned into a crowd of angry and depressed people. I don’t think that he wanted us to mourned him for eternity. His life had a lot of betrayal, and many dramatic events, but he was absolutely positive person. When it was reported about his death, many people had the feeling that the good is gone from this world. Something light and correct left the damn earth forever. Many will agree. Example of this is the fact that people hastened to express their regret about the fact that Michael gone. Immediately manifested a feeling of frustration, even those who do not mention Michael during his life. The loss was realized. But regretting the loss of Michael we feeling sorry for ourselves. And we should feel sorry for ourselves because it’s we are who lost him, the same humanity that made the bad things to him and as a result killed him. And what is left to do now?
I think it is time to make conclusions. It is time to stop to mourn about his death and begin celebrating his life. Do not make him a Martyr. It is time to speak about what the person he was and actually teach what he wanted to teach us. If we want to make a world a better place, take a look at ourself and make the change, start with man in the mirror. It’s time to support his relatives and friends and say thank to them for all they have done for him. His life has meaning, his songs are full of meaning, his message to the world is clear in all languages. It’s time to crawl out of the swamp. Michael would like people to have learned the lesson, to hear him finally.
Millions of people want to think about Michael in a positive way, to smile remembering his smile and feel the joy of listening his songs. Millions of people want to see sexuality in him, want to dance to his songs, to learn «moonwalk» and tell funny stories about him. Millions of people want to raise their children with good memories of Michael, as if he were Peter Pan. Among us there are people who know the magic stories about Michael, they tell them, let’s hear them. Let’s listen to Michael, he was able to tell stories. Michael said that he is « Peter pan in the heart », any fan will tell you that in their own heart he is Michael Jackson.