Yes this is The Hollywood Sentinel, but Hollywood isn't just the “Thirty Mile Zone,” it's a state of mind. So with that broadened definition in mind, the 38th issue of The Hollywood Sentinel features a discussion of contemporary celebrity and the celebrity in art.
It's been a good season for Terrell Moore Gallery, which features "A Summer Fantasy,” now through the end of September, the first major exhibition by Los Angeles artist Scott Forrest and new works from renowned metal sculptor Leon Leigh at the new, 7,000 square foot downtown gallery at 1601 South Hope Street LA, CA 90015. The Terrell Moore Gallery is back, and better than ever. If there's a rising star on the downtown Los Angeles gallery scene, Terrell Moore is it. The gallery owner and artist's own installation, "RIP Art," can be seen, by appointment, in the exclusive back room.
The Andy Warhol Museum, one of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, celebrated what would have been Andy's 85th birthday this past August 6th. Through September 15th, the museum is showcasing Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: S/HE IS HER/E, the artist's first solo exhibition. From the Andy Warhol museum website: H/er singular and, at times, provocative creative practice has exerted a profound influence on visual artists and musicians alike. Genesis has performed in a number of music projects including Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV and Pigface. A central focus for the exhibition is the Pandrogyne project – a complex and highly ambitious series of collaborative artworks by P-Orridge and his wife Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge (1969-2007). Frustrated by what they considered to be socially imposed limits on personal identity and on the language of true love, P-Orridge and Lady Jaye sought to merge their two identities, using plastic surgery, hormone therapy, cross-dressing, and altered behavior to create the pandrogynous being, "Breyer P-Orridge." An act of love, the work explores how fully two people can integrate their lives, bodies, and consciousnesses. Lady Jaye passed away in 2007, and the project continues with Genesis embodying the entirety of Breyer P-Orridge. Read more at: warhol.org
Andy, of course, is well known for his phrase, “Fifteen minutes of fame,” as well as his iconic works including portraits of Marylin Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, as well as his Campbell's Soup among more. The full quote, that everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes, wasn't perhaps specifically intended to apply to painting and other fine arts, but perhaps it was, in some sense, prescient in that regard. As Louis Camnitzer writes in “Art or Politics” for Art Nexus in regard to the increasing numbers of already famous people making lateral moves to the upper echelons of the art world, without suffering through the ritual hazing implicit in a formal art education, “The eclat, however, is not based on a democratization of art but in the consumption of celebrity.” Camnitzer notes that a Vladimir Putin painting fetched 1.37 million dollars at auction, and the work of naif 81-year-old Cecilia Gimenez has drawn more than 40,000 local tourists to see her botched restoration of the Ecce Homo. Marina Abramovic receives regular mentions on TMZ, not so much because she is a respected artist, as the fact that she has taken to collaborating with high profile actors and singers who see themselves as performance artists and the “paying of one's dues” and “learning one's craft” as a fait accompli. Once you've conquered Hollywood, according to the New Rules, you are as mobile and powerful as the Queen on a chess board. Some artists are offended. Others play the game, hoping to win.
The purchaser of Putin's piece, Moscow gallery owner Natalya Kurnikova, said she snapped the painting up because it could be the first and last painting of its kind. "The painting shows another aspect of a great personality," Kurnikova told Bloomberg News. The Putin is highest selling painting in the history of Russia. The canvas, “Travesty,” on the other hand, by Konstantin Altunin, was seized by police in St. Petersburg from an exhibition at the Muzei Vlast (which translates, ironically, as “Museum of the Authorities”) on August 15 for a portraying a less flattering view of Putin, wherein he is depicted wearing women's lingerie along side Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, shown one step further, with a woman's body. It's easy to click one's tongue and say that it could never happen here, so let's not forget that it did: In 1988, student David Nelson's portrait of Chicago mayor Harold Washington on display at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (not the Museum, mind you) showing the recently deceased mayor in a similarly feminized manner was targeted by Ald. Allan Streeter, Ald. Bobby Rush and Ald. Dorothy Tillman, who arrived with Chicago Police Department officers and confiscated the painting, triggering a First Amendment,and race relations crisis and a civil law suit. And as long as this tactic gets a reaction from powerful men who find being presented like women the ultimate slap in the face, generating instant global publicity, I'm sure there will be others satirized in the same, tired routine.
Many artists are called famous, or even iconic, but few evoke as intense, even hysterical, a following as Frida Kahlo, whose work has not been displayed in France for more than 15 years. Her intimately scaled paintings, alongside her husband's, will be shown from October 9, 2013, through January 13, 2014 at the Musée de l’Orangerie including masterpieces on loan from Museo Dolores Olmedo. The show portrays Diego Rivera from his early cubist works, to those that made him the founder of the Twentieth Century Mexican School. Through this unique curatorial concept, viewers will gain better understanding of Rivera and Kahlo's dyadic artistic different yet complementary universes.
Hanging out with the Rockefellers, as did Kahlo and Rivera (until the mural incident), having your own world-class punk band like Genesis P. Orridge, or creating “Factory” made work that seems to have been made with its eventual licensing empire in mind (Warhol is used to sell liquor, perfume, skateboards, dresses, and more) may not MAKE an artist, but it certainly doesn't hurt. Artists who explore controversial subject matter, like Tina La Porta, represented by the Robert Fontaine Gallery in Miami's Wynwood district, whose work deals with her experience with schizophrenia, or Faith Ringgold, whose solo exhibition “American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold’s Paintings of the 1960s,” on view at the National Museum of Women in the Arts from June 21–November 10, deals with race relations and feminism, bring culturally critical viewpoints into the discourse that engage art audiences … and actually do make art a more democratic experience.
This story is ©2013, Moira Cue and The Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.