The original version of the Invincible cover was inspired by Albert Watson’s Golden Boy picture from 1990.
According to Karen Faye, the original intent for the Invincible cover was to recreate that picture atmosphere but Sony edited it into what we know today.
Here are some of Karen’s tweets about the album cover story:
“The Invincible cover (the head shot) was retouched into something that was no where near the original photo shot by Albert Watson. I had painted Michael gold and he was wearing a hairpiece that was completely gold. I was very disappointed at what Sony did to the photo. The original photo was quite amazing.”
“Photo shoots were always a collaboration by all the artists involved… All inspired by Michael. It was a magical event. The closest feeling I have had, to that “artistic happening”, since Michael has died, is when I work with David LaChapelle. You know you are a part of creating artistic history.”
(in reaction to the posting of the A.Watson picture) “Yes. That was the photo that inspired the shoot with Michael. You can see why MJ liked it.”
I wonder if we’ll be able to see the original picture one day.
The intention reminds me of the original idea for the Bad cover, inspired by the Gloria Swanson portrait by Edward Steichen. And the “golden” component reminds me of the Arno Bani photoshoot. Maybe that was something he really wanted to try.