Should the Massive Michael Jackson Mural in NYC Be Taken Down? Artist Who Painted it Says No

Should the massive MJ mural in NYC be taken down?

Last August, a massive Michael Jackson mural popped up in the East Village section of New York City. The mural is striking; it’s multiple colors and features a split painting of young Jackson 5-era MJ split with an older Jackson face.

READ: A Massive New Michael Jackson Mural Popped Up in New York City

Now, after the release of the damning Leaving Neverland documentary — in which two men allege that Jackson sexually abused them as children — questions are emerging about whether the mural still belongs on the wall (which is on 11th street and 1st avenue.)

READ: “He’s Died, He’s Dead:” Stevie Wonder Responds To Michael Jackson Leaving Neverland Controversy

One person who feels like the image should stay is famed Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra, the man who painted the mural. In a statement released to Timeout, Kobra makes a defense for keeping the mural up. The first reason he gave was describing the thought process behind making the mural:

I decided to keep the mural on, for a few reasons:

First, because the mural itself is not a simple tribute to MJ. My entire idea was to show the transformations he went through during his entire life: from black to white, kid to adult, from natural to unnatural. The whole project that I did in NYC last year was about peace, and in that mural in particular I was trying to describe that people sometimes have to go through so much to be able to reach their own peace of mind.. and even then, sometimes doesn’t matter what people do, they can never reach that peace.

The second reason he gave is the idea that a figure like MJ can’t be erased from the history books. He also adds that it’s not up to him to judge if Jackson is guilty or not:

In the second place, I believe MJ is part of American History, and also part of the world’s music history. You can catalog music Before and After MJ, so much was his influence. He still is the biggest pop star that has ever lived, and that we have ever seen, and I believe we are never going to see another pop star like him again. Therefore, we can’t just erase him from history. These new allegations can be true or not. It is not up to me to judge if MJ is guilty or not—and now, since he is dead, he won’t be judged by justice anymore. So I really hope that mural can do it’s part and bring us to think about it all and how we, as persons and as a community, will deal with this new fact concerning MJ’s life.

The Jackson Estate has vehemently denied the allegations showcased in Leaving Neverland. They are currently suing HBO for $100 million.

Source: Timeout

Dimas Sanfiorenzo

Dimas Sanfiorenzo is the Managing Editor for Okayplayer. He specializes in coverage centered around music, pop culture, and politics. Email:

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Dimas Sanfiorenzo

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