Artwork, Movie star Intersect in 4 NSU Artwork Museum Exhibitions

Consisting of 4 standalone exhibitions creatively gathered underneath a thematic umbrella, NSU Artwork Museum’s sprawling “Picturing Fame” is an insightful and multifaceted ramble into the connection between superstar and artwork—and the way these forces have formed one another over greater than a century.

We have a tendency to consider these phrases in opposition: “Movie star” is hole, {the marketplace} of lowest-common-denominator leisure for the lots; “artwork” is hallowed, the area of a cerebral, area of interest cognoscenti. However, whether or not it’s the wealthy and well-known angling, and generally catching, creative acceptance, or artists captivated by the attract of superstar, they’ve lengthy made for mutually useful bedfellows. “Picturing Fame” revels on this tenuous blurring of distinctions.

The sequence begins because it ought to, with “Toulouse-Lautrec and the Follies of Fame” exhibiting the title artist’s influential posters depicting the spirited performers of Paris’ fin-de- siècle demi-monde. This leads proper right into a direct connection throughout time: “Emilio Martinez: Van Gogh, Lautrec and Me,” through which the up to date collagist Martinez, in his first-ever solo exhibition, incorporates work from these nineteenth century masters into his personal fantastical imagery. Subsequent in line is “The Swans: Art work by Karen Kilimnik & Clothes from Stephanie Seymour”—its personal multipronged present inside a present, marrying Kilimnik’s vivid work of reimagined film stars and vogue fashions with Seymour’s classic attire designed by heavyweights of hatue couture and worn by the leisure glitterati. “Picturing Fame” culminates with “Hooray For Hollywood,” one other multi-artist exhibition that lifts the superstar/artist dichotomy into current day. I might spend this complete assessment on simply one of many 4 exhibitions, every providing loads to unpack; there are even cameos from Frida Kahlo and Andy Warhol.

Untitled collage by Emilio Martinez

Emilio Martinez, a self-taught, Honduran-born, Miami-residing artist, is a expertise to look at. His disarming collages make use of cut-up visuals from books about Vincent Van Gogh to kind monsters from his childhood id, the late artist’s bristling whorls of paint repurposed into the midsections, arms of legs of primitive implausible beasts. Among the works embody textual content from the books and self-portraits of Van Gogh, to whom Martinez has added spiky black hair, like doodles in a center schooler’s yearbook—underlining the postmodern concept that nobody is sacred, not even one’s idols. But Martinez’s monsters, which he additionally superimposed onto Toulouse-Lautrec posters, and forging a cross-generational connection, are usually not threatening however absurd, their dandyish footwear and out-of-proportion our bodies endearing us to their whimsy.

However I’d wish to focus probably the most on the bookends of “Picturing Fame,” and their full-circle nature. For an artist as globally and traditionally essential as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, his work is seldom proven in up to date museums, and it’s greater than a deal with to expertise a curated pattern of his drawings, etchings and posters. Capturing the colourful nightlife of Belle Époque Paris, which at its zenith provided some 350 performances an evening, Toulouse-Lautrec introduced nice artwork into the gutter and vice versa, elevating even talent-starved entertainers, just like the soiled dancer Might Milton, into bona fide celebrities.

“Jane Avril” by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Refining a definite imaginative and prescient between naturalism and caricature, he emphasised the bodily eccentricities of his topics—their girth, their slenderness, their uncompromised faces—together with a kinetic appreciation for movement. The posters twitch with vitality and shock us with particulars: Should you’re like me, you missed the serpent slithering on the costume of performer Jane Avril at first look. Choose contributions from a few Toulouse-Lautrec’s creative contemporaries solely reinforce the excellence of his imaginative and prescient.

The sarcastically titled “Hooray for Hollywood” concludes “Picturing Fame” with a twenty first century replace to Toulouse-Lautrec’s bailiwick: the twin sense of immersion and distance, fascination and aversion, that conjoins artist and superstar. Elizabeth Taylor was nonetheless alive when artist Catherine Opie was permitted to {photograph} the private results of her Bel Air property, however Opie’s well-known sequence of pictures from this era, circa 2010, nonetheless has a voyeuristic aftertaste. Offered within the context of “Picturing Fame,” Opie’s “700 Nimes Highway” has the sensation of a postmortem examination—and an acknowledgment that privateness is not a luxurious for the privileged.

“Untitled (Mary Kate and Ashley)” by Enoc Perez

This actuality is underscored by the ultimate works in “Hooray for Hollywood,” a set of work by Enoc Perez that recast paparazzi images as reverential artwork. Whether or not it’s John F. Kennedy Jr. and his spouse Caroline avoiding the digicam’s glare as they enter their limousine or Frank Sinatra glumly donning a masks with spouse Mia Farrow at certainly one of Truman Capote’s Black and White Events, Perez’s rigorous labor in re-creating some fame monger’s bankable snapshot right into a portray is itself the purpose: Distinctions between artwork, superstar and commerce are extra nebulous than ever. To aim to disentangle them is a dropping battle, and moreover: With works as considerate and evocative as these in “Picturing Fame,” who would wish to?

The exhibitions in “Picturing Fame” run via Oct. 1 at NSU Artwork Museum, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. For info, name 954/525-5500 or go to

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