This is the latest series of paintings I’ve been working on. They’re based on the shadows of various famous people in our culture. Scroll down for a full statement on the project.
Scarlett Johansson’s bruise-colored shadow. Oil on canvas. 71 x 47 inches. 2017-2019.
The shadow of Cherilyn “Cher” Sarkisian. Oil on canvas. 73 x 55 inches. 2017-2019. [available]
Kevin Spacey Fowler’s shade against the wall. Drypoint. 6x8 inches. 2017.
The shadow of Paul “Stromae” Van Haver fluttering around. Drypoint. 4x6 inches. 2017.
The shadows of William Seward Burroughs II and Benecio Monseratte Rafael del Toro Sánchez. Drypoint engraving. One edition of 5 prints. 4 x 6 inches. 2017. [available]
The shadow of Cherilyn “Cher” Sarkisian. Chalk pastel on paper. 25 x 19 inches. 2017.
Scarlett Johansson’s shadow. Chalk pastel on paper. 25 x 19 inches. 2017.
The shadow of Deborah (Debbie) Ann “Blondie” Harry. Conte and chalk on paper. 25 x 19 inches. 2017.
Kevin Spacey Fowler’s shadow. Chalk pastel on paper. 19 x 25 inches. 2017.
William Bradley Pitt in a multiplicity of shadows. Pastel on paper. 19 x 25 inches. 2017.
Celebrities began as ghosts–disembodied voices transmitted through air, voiceless flickering spectres projected in darkness, contractually bound to Hollywood and record companies.
Eventually they became icons, their images repeated so often that they began to feel as if they meant something. No longer just objects of admiration, they were ideal figures–to be modelled, to be identified with.
Now, celebrities only take form in the public light. As shades and shadows, they are multitudinous, god-like in their unknowability, and transient, appearing in palpably negative forms. They are hyperreal, replaceable, homogeneous, and edited.
At the sacrificial altar of fame, they offer up identity in exchange for a rebirth as a fictive persona. Dissociated from real existence, in time they are absolutely forgotten as they recede from public consciousness to pure image to less than nothing.