Nov 18 2011

“I found him very polite, but he was not breathing joy, he was not happy”

Category: Art,MJ Quotes,Photos,Quotes About MJSeven @ 4:00 am


I have always detected an undercurrent of sadness in Michael, even when he (and I) was young. I distinctly remember hearing and feeling it when listening to him sing as far back as the late 1960s or so. It was always there. There was always the feeling that some deep pain was hidden just beneath the surface of who the public saw and heard, even before he struck out on his own from his brothers. But, maybe that was just Michael’s incredible ability to make others feel what he was singing; to emotionally sweep an audience or listener up into the song or performance, and maybe I was swept up in that. Maybe it was just his magic as an entertainer. But if it was real sadness and pain, then I suspect that maybe performing and entertaining was the only release Michael ever felt from it, because it was the only time he felt at ease in fully expressing it – through his art, on stage – where he once said he felt most comfortable and safe.

Of course as years went by, it became worse as we began to see at least some of the reasons for Michael’s intense sadness, namely the media bullying and abuse, extortion attempts and surrounding scandal that seemed to always exist once he became a household name. Nati Canada, the artist featured below, also mentions detecting this sadness in Michael when she met him off the stage. The painting she did of Michael below has him looking very intense, but also accompanied by a gentle spirit which seems to be comforting him. It’s quite a portrait.

The article below was translated and edited from by UK Loves MJ who says: “This is an edited translation and I have added Text where necessary to make sense of the translation. Have kept it as close to the translation as I can.

With Nati Canada and the portrait she did for him

With Nati Canada and the portrait she did for him

The first time the Aragonese painter Nati Cañada saw Michael Jackson in person was on September 23, 1992 in Madrid’s Vicente Calderon stadium, but the two are separated by a huge stage and thousands of crazed fans.

Two years earlier, Michael had commissioned a portrait and she wanted to see how he moved and what mass he conveyed on stage. [Michael] was immersed in his Dangerous World Tour and the image conveyed to Canada was that he was “an aggressive person and strong.

Her opinion completely changed when she met him in Los Angeles the day he posed in 1993. Because of Michael’s busy schedule the meeting was delayed for almost two years, but finally took place at the home of Steven Hoefflin, who was responsible for this event, a great friend of the singer and Canada had painted several years ago. “Michael knew my job thanks to the doctor. I made a portrait in white and when he saw him said that’s what I was looking for, a painting appearing all white,” says Nati, who can not help smiling at the comments this statement may raise.

The scheduled appointment was with the representative Evy, Michael came in at seven in the morning and at nine had to be recording in the studios so 2 hours was the time available for this first and only sitting. Michael arrived wearing a hat and black-colored glasses and a clear raincoat His curly hair was tied back in a ponytail, but then in the original box the artist appears with his hair down. In just 2 hrs Michael is changed and wore a white shirt and jeans, he chats with the painter and sees photographs of other portraits the artist has done. It appears that Nati then took an entire reel of photos of Michael despite the representatives (bodyguards) saying not to. She says of the photoreel that she took “they will never see the light because I gave my word they will remain forever hidden in my house.

During the session, he spoke a little about painting as he posed sitting in a chair with arms dangling. “Just twenty minutes we were alone, and during that time was very kind to me. I found him very polite, but he was not breathing joy, he was not happy,

In early 1996, Nati went to Los Angeles to deliver the painting to Michael. A portrait in white color with the image of Michael appears in a small box on the painting and a spirit that she painted over the artist at one end of the canvas which is 120 x 90 cm.

Accompanied by her driver,she went to deliver the picture. “I had to go to a hotel and ask for Garry Horne, who was the person who received me. and took me to a second elevator. All very mysterious. But when I came to the room and knocked on the door who came out to meet with me but Michael himself his eldest son in his arms, and in the background is heard to cry another baby, it must be your child. Again he was very kind to me, said he loved the portrait and the idea of putting the spirit had seemed very successful, she says. The fears that the painting was not to his liking disappeared at a stroke “You’re a great artist, you’re a great artist”,  just as the doctor had warned, Hoefflin and his medical team, who she showed the finished work to a day earlier to get their opinion.

As they took leave Michael invited Nati to spend a day at Neverland. Some time later and the impossibility of their agenda’s coinciding Nati decided to accept the invitation and visited Neverland on Sept 28th 1996. Neverland Park staff told me that Michael had ordered that everything was in place for her when she arrived, wells, popcorn machine… There, the artist visited the park on a special train and was able to see this world of magic and fantasy dear to Jackson, which he shared with children of schools and hospitals. “It was a kind of Disney miniature, filled with candy and toys for children. A magical place, as reflected in the book in which guests left signatures, thanking Michael for his kindness.

The pace of work of both artists prevented further meetings, but after the trial in which Jackson was acquitted of molesting a minor, the Aragonese painter sent a letter of support to Michael. Although the constant movements of Michael the letter was returned. .

When Nati learned of the death of the artist, it came to her mind the both times they met. I was lucky enough to know the person and the character and I can say out loud that I always believed in that rare person, and away from his people, spoke kindly to me four times, to sign an autograph and worried about my work and my interests, concludes the artist.

Nati is writing a book of her memories of this meeting with Michael and other influential people who she has portrayed throughout her life.

Nati's portrait of Michael, with the spirit

Nati's portrait of Michael, with the spirit

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5 Responses to ““I found him very polite, but he was not breathing joy, he was not happy””

  1. Susan Trout says:

    An exquisite, ethereal rendering. I very much look forward to Nati’s book.

    Thank you, Seven.

  2. Anne Mette Jepsen says:

    Thank you Seven!

  3. Tania says:

    Thankyou Seven for another lovely story about an artist and their work with Michael. This is a beautiful painting and certainly reminiscent of the live performance ending of “Will You Be There” where we see a Guardian Angel descending over and behind Michael in an act of comfort, protection and love.

    I do hope all of these wonderful artworks that have been commissioned by Michael are being kept in safe and protected hands so Michael’s children may one day have them to enjoy.

    I so enjoy reading about and seeing all of these beautiful Michael-inspired artworks. Bless you for bringing them to our attention.

  4. TheresaB says:

    This is a very lovely painting just like its subject.

  5. Bella Jackson says:

    Thank you Seven. A lovely story and a beautiful Painting.