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Austria: Michael Jackson Tribute Project Arrives in Vienna (16 Nov 2010)

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Artist David Ilan with one of Michael's tour singers 

Artist David Ilan with one of Michael's tour singers

Michael Jackson tribute project arrives in Vienna

Artist David Ilan is in Vienna today (Tuesday) as part of a project to create a tribute to Michael Jackson in which fans all over the world add a single pixel to a picture being made in his honour.

Austrian Times correspondent and Michael Jackson fan Eva Kanai visited him in his hotel to talk about the project.

©                 16. 11. 10. - 17:00
  more Panorama news     RSS Feed RSS Feed Panorama          It has been a little over a year since Michael died, and one of the biggest differences I have noticed since the death is how many people are now Michael Jackson fans since the 25th of June 2009 - the day he died.

Children who had only just learned to walk, and had never been to any of his electrifying concerts or bought any of his albums, began moonwalking in the playground. When asked what their favourite things were they would list pizza – and the music of Michael Jackson.

For a short time it seemed like the whole world was a Michael Jackson fan, they just had not realised it until then.

I had realised it before. I had never kept being a Michael Jackson fan a secret. I had got my tickets to the planned This Is It concert tour just three days before I heard the news that he had passed away. The 25th of June changed something in me too. I realized that my whole life had been centred around the fact that I am a fan. I married my husband because we met at Michael Jackson a concert. I wouldn't be living in Austria now if I had not met my husband. Very many things in my life would have been totally different if I wasn't his fan. There is much more to thank him for, much more than only his music.

Many fans around the world created their own tributes after Michael Jackson's death. Some even flew to L.A. to be at the memorial. Some were even at the funeral. Some visited the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, where they placed flowers or letters. However there were many people out there just like me, who could not do any of these things. The only tribute I could do here in Vienna was placing a candle in my window next to the most precious object I ever got from Michael - a printed soap from his Neverland ranch. Two months later I got an e-mail from a French girl who was also a fan, and a good friend. She drew my attention to the portrait which David Ilan is making.

"Be a dot in the Michael Jackson tribute portrait" - the e-mail said. It seemed a very poetic idea: one dot is one person. A picture of Michael Jackson made out of his fans. At first I thought this was probably just another person trying to make money off the back of Michael's death, but than I saw, this is a non profit organisation - and it's all for free. They do the work, the homepage, the organisation, and it's all for free. It's all for LOVE. Was that not what Michael taught us over all the years?

Many people from many countries unite and register and be one of the million. Celebrities like Diana Ross or Dionne Warwick are also taking part. Right next to me. Just one dot, no matter who you are. We are all one and we are all united in this portrait. Just one out of millions of dots - this is what David Illan wants to achieve in his finished artwork.

This was always one of the reasons I loved being a fan of Michael Jackson: I loved to be one of the millions. The fans surrounding me was like a big humble family. I trusted all of them, they were and are all my friends. I am happy to be a part of the biggest family in the whole world, the Michael Jackson fan community. They are still out there, and Michael's message is passing down the generations. To unite the good people of the world through LOVE. This was his mission.

David Ilan belongs to this family too. He also considered himself as a fan. He is touring around Europe with the portrait, showing it to the fans. As he said "we don't want to hang this canvas up in a museum where nobody can go to, we want the fans to see it, to see their own dot". When he will collect all the one million people so the one million dots, this picture will be given to Michael Jackson's mother and his children.

Right now there is only one face of Michael Jackson on canvass, one face of his childhood. David said it was difficult to choose only one face of him, as every fan has a different favourite one. So he chose this image as the first, and later on he will draw other images of the King of Pop onto the canvass. The artist uses the technique of pointillism.

Today the portrait is coming to Vienna. The artist will be presenting  in the Hotel Hilton Plaza (1010 Wien, Schottenring 11) from 15:00 til 17:00. Everyone who goes to view it will have the chance to be themselves included as a dot on the canvas, and be part of this tribute to Michael Jackson.

I have seen this portrait online and live. There are no words to describe the difference. You must see it live, this is a piece of art.

If you cannot go out would like to become a part of this tribute portrait, and you would like to show your support as a fan for Michael Jackson, you can do so by registering at


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