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In February 1988 Michael Jackson called Santa Fe artist David Nordahl to inquire about painting lessons. Apparently, while visiting Steven Spielberg, Jackson had seen Nordahl’s painting of Army troops invading an Apache camp as a young corporal shielded two Indian children. ABC News reports that their long conversation sparked a close friendship and working partnership. From 1988 to 2005, Nordahl, known for his paintings of the old west, completed thousands of drawings and roughly a dozen epic commissions, seven of which were among the 2,000 Jackson items in Julien’s authorized auction, which the singer sued to stop last spring. The paintings illustrate Jackson’s grandiose fantasies and fairy-tale worldview.