About The Tribute
David Ilan is a celebrity artist who uses only hand-drawn dots to create his portraits, a technique called pointillism. He has worked with some of the biggest celebrities in the world for over a decade.
In 2007, David decided he wanted to do something more meaningful with his artwork. He came up with the idea of having every dot in his drawings connect to a real person. Each person who becomes part of the drawing is also given the opportunity to attach a message to their dot. Every dot project has a charitable wing. People sign up for their dot online for free.
In 2008, I had the opportunity to work with David Ilan on one of his projects. He and I partnered on the Presidential Portrait of Barack Obama. This interactive portrait was approved by Obama's Visual Arts Committee and attracted the interest of the Smithsonian. Prior to the November election, we received support from Obama’s Senate Office. We partnered with Rock the Vote, were sponsored by American Airlines, and produced this ongoing event in collaboration with legendary social good organizer Ken Kragen (Ken was responsible for "We Are The World" and "Hands Across America").
Most recently, David was commissioned by Special Olympics Southern California to do one of his trademark "dot drawings" as a fund-raiser for the 40th Anniversary.
When Michael Jackson passed away, I was one of the millions of fans worldwide who was affected. Michael and I were one year apart in age and we grew up in the same neighborhood. At one point, my brother did some work for Michael. My sister had rubbed shoulders with him too; she worked at Big Ben Records on Ventura Boulevard where he was a customer.
Upon hearing the shocking and sad news of his passing, I contacted David Ilan immediately and asked if he would be interested in creating a work of art for Michael’s fans, where everyone could get a dot in the portrait in their name and attach a personal message. It is a way for people to be part of his life's story and play an important role in the making of a most unique work of art that pays tribute to a true legend. It gives fans something positive to do at this difficult time.
What I love most about this Tribute is that fans are invited, you are included.There have been a number of official Tributes that fans worldwide would have done anything to be part of, starting with the Staples Center Memorial. Some of these Tributes are by invitation only, all of them have limited seating. For one reason or another, most of Michael's fans cannot be there—it's too far, too expensive, sold out. The Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait is "the largest Michael Jackson tribute in the world" because there is enough room for YOU – for all of Michael's fans, and it is happening in every country on the planet. There are no boundaries, no tickets to buy. It's free and you don't go to it ... it comes to you! No matter who you are or where you are, if this Tribute isn't in your own home, it's as close as the nearest computer in your town.
Here, fans are not distant spectators of someone else's Tribute. You are a participant in a one-of-a-kind Tribute by the fans, for the fans, that invites you to not only participate, but be part a Tribute of your own making. Your dot makes Michael's Tribute Portrait possible! Your dot counts, forever.
About The Artist
David's celebrity drawing career started over 10 years ago when Jerry Seinfeld saw some of his drawings. He drew the entire cast of Seinfeld, which was one of the hottest shows on television at the time. For the next decade, David drew strictly celebrities that have posed for him personally. Most of the drawings have been for the celebrities’ private use, but some have been created for other reasons. For example, one was made for an auction benefiting the American Cancer Society.
In 2007, David created the concept of "1 Dot = 1 Person" to bring more meaning to his art. Every dot he places on his canvas now represents a real person, and every David Ilan project has a charitable wing. He called his first project (which is still running) Points With Purpose. This project gives a voice to the survivors of rape or sexual abuse. David has created several portraits using the "1 Dot = 1 Person" concept. People from more than 180 countries have dots placed in their honor in his portraits, including many A-list celebrities. For example, in the portrait he is creating for Special Olympics Southern California, David has placed dots for Scarlett Johansson, Danny DeVito, David Beckham, and Vanessa Williams, just to name a few. In 2008, David embarked on the Presidential Portrait of Barack Obama, a project that was approved by Obama’s Visual Arts Committee. The Obama Portrait was sponsored by American Airlines and attracted the attention of the Smithsonian museum. It was organized in collaboration with Ken Kragen (who was responsible for “We Are The World” and “Hands Across America”).
You can see samples of David's work at www.DavidIlan.com.
How it Works
1 Dot = 1 Person
You can be part of an official portrait of Michael Jackson. David Ilan is an internationally recognized pointillism artist, which means he draws using only dots. Every single hand-drawn dot David places on his canvas represents a real person. People have joined David's projects from more than 180 countries. Every Michael Jackson fan is able to get a free hand-drawn dot added to the portrait in their name. At least one million fans will be needed to complete the drawing, so it’s important to spread the word!
David has explained his work of art like this:
All dots are created equal and all people are created equal. The dots are all the same size and each one is vital to the finished portrait. Each dot individually tells a story of one person, but when the dots work together, that is when the drawing is formed and a purpose is achieved. In essence, people are working together to create a drawing. Participants feel like they are part of a group - they are doing something important by joining; they are part of something bigger than them standing alone. It gives people a certain kind of strength knowing that they are important and necessary in the drawing. Every dot is in someone's name.