#MichaelJackson’s drawings to be put on sale – Portraits of Obama, JFK, Marilyn Monroe and others by Michael Jackson are to be sold by a Florida-based tv personality, drug counsellor and psychic.
All Photos Used with Joseph McBratney permission (Telegraph)
A former private eye is to sell his collection of drawings by Michael Jackson, to raise funds for a drug rehabilitation centre he now runs in Florida.
Joseph McBratney, son of Irish-American mobster James McBratney who was murdered by the New York mafia in the 1970s, said he had accumulated over 100 drawings by the late singer, who died in 2009.
Mr McBratney had been offered significant sums for the art, he said, but has waited until now to sell the works as a whole collection. He said the pastel, charcoal, pencil and pen portraits of figures including Princess Diana, JFK, the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe had been authenticated and were valued in excess of $100 million (£70m).
“It’s a very big responsibility for me,” he told The Telegraph, speaking by telephone from his home in Boca Raton, Florida.
“I could have sold them years ago, but at that point there weren’t enough in one collection for healing the world and saving the children. Now they are together.”
He said he did not realise that Jackson was also an artist until casually searching through eBay, and coming across a sale of his work. When Mr McBratney tried to bid and failed, the seller got in touch and said he knew how to access more. So little by little, Mr McBratney built up his collection.
“In between shows, he couldn’t wander about or go shopping like normal people, so my understanding is that he just drew the portraits then, to pass the time.
“He drew from photos, and there are pictures of Obama, JFK, James Dean and so on. He also did a series of self portraits. It’s an incredible body of work.”
A Fort Lauderdale authenticator had seen the works and was “amazed,” said Mr McBratney.
The 54-year-old said he had written to the company that now owns Neverland, Jackson’s California ranch, to discuss holding an exhibition of the works there before the sale. No date for the sale has been set so far.
Mr McBratney made his name as a private eye and psychic on Staten Island, in New York. He describes himself on Twitter as: “Actor, private eye, interventionist, drug counsellor, antique appraiser, life coach, match maker, psychic,” and was a runner up on a TV show entitled American Psychic Challenge.
In 2010 he recorded a pilot of a TV show entitled Ghostfellas, in which relatives of victims of mafia violence went to a graveyard with Mr McBratney, in the hope of communicating with their dead loved one.
In recent years he has dedicated himself to helping young people overcome drug and alcohol addiction. And he hoped that the sale of the drawings would generate funds for his Joe Brat foundation.