A Filipino Artist Sent a Charcoal Painting to Michael Jordan. Now, It's Worth P40 Million
Christian Oliver Talampas got the shock of his life when the greatest basketball player of all time Michael “MJ” Jordan sent back his charcoal painting with his autograph together with some MJ-penned memorabilia.
Talampas’ story started when he posted on social media a video of how many hours he drew the painting. He asked netizens to help him share this video post to “His Airness,” as Jordan is fondly called by NBA fans. In his Instagram post entitled “Finding Michael Jordan” posted last July, he said, “The dream started when I was a little boy, I promised myself that one day I will be great because each and every one of us have the privilege to achieve it, some are just afraid to try.”
From left to right: artist Christian Talampas, John Choa and Secret Fresh Gallery owner Bigboy Cheng
He even quoted Michael Jordan on this post: “I can accept failure but I can’t accept not trying.” Talampas received a message from a sneaker collector based in the US named Brian Apodaca who arranged to have his painting be delivered to Jordan personally.
“MJ kept the print and sent me back the original artwork, which is the one I have now with his signature,” Talampas says. “My goal was to really give him the original piece. But he was kind enough to keep the print instead.”
Asked whether he keeps the painting in his house in Parañaque, he says that it’s securely kept in a gallery somewhere. We also asked him if anyone has offered to purchase his Jordan-penned painting.
“Not for sale,” he answers. “I really don’t plan on selling it. I consider it priceless. Sa tingin ko it keeps the bond between MJ and I. I sincerely consider it a national treasure as an MJ avid fan. Something na nakaka-proud as a Filipino to have.”
Christian Talampas was shocked when Michael Jordan acknowledged and signed his painting thanks to an American collector
Secret Fresh Gallery and modern art expert Bigboy Cheng says that this painting is valued at least P40 million or perhaps even more. “Jordan very rarely gives autographs and to have his signature on a pair of sneakers these days can cost about $15,000 (about P767,000), what more this painting? It is an art piece.”
MJ-penned basketball cards are constantly being traded and sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars online. A recent sale of a 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card topped an all-time record of $840,000 (P43 million). A pair of Nike Jordan shoes worn by the man himself was sold by Sotheby’s for P28 million.
Clearly, Jordan’s popularity has never waned, with Netflix’s recent documentary The Last Dance only further bolstering his legendary status. Talampas’ charcoal painting depicts the “last shot” he made on Game 6 of the NBA Finals played on June 14, 1998 between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz. The nail-biter finish was Jordan delivering a clutch shot that gave the Bulls an 87-86 victory and their historic sixth championship. He finished the game with 45 points that earned him his sixth Finals Most Valuable Player award. It was also Jordan’s final shot sporting a Bulls uniform.
Upper Deck Authenticated (UDA), the company that represents the biggest names in sports for authentic memorabilia—including Michael Jordan—lists the autographed 36-inch by 22-inch poster print of the “Last Shot” with a price of $6,999.99 (P358,000). According to Upper Deck, this 36"x22" Michael Jordan autographed picture captures number 23's last shot as a Chicago Bull. Jordan's autograph has been authenticated by virtue of UDA's Five-Step Authentication Process. This piece is a replica art print of world-renowned memorabilia artist Chuck Gillies original commissioned painting of Michael Jordan's last shot versus the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA finals.
Talampas’ “Last Shot” charcoal painting was a product of true grit and passion for the sport and is the ultimate expression of his appreciation for Jordan. He has been an NBA fan since he was eight years old and is turning 40 this coming May. A delivery driver for baking products by day, he is a self-taught charcoal painter and only learned how to draw by watching YouTube less than two years ago when the pandemic started.
Michael Jordan signing the original art work
“I hope it will inspire more na katulad ko nangangarap na muntik na mawalan ng pag-asa.” (I hope this will inspire more people like myself to dream and not lose hope.
Talampas will have an upcoming solo exhibit in Secret Fresh in time for his birthday month this coming May.