fame suckers

The following are some quotes from a Donald Kuspit article that seems an apt critique of much of popular culture in general. Kuspit is really an important voice in art criticism since his views on art and culture are situated within broader social, political and economic contexts. That is, art is disposable, commodified and part of the larger entertainment complex; one in which beauty, color and effect, line and composition have been totally supplanted by the non-aesthetic component of art. …

---Elizabeth Peyton's work is a parade of wan boys, doomed youth and dead artists. Strung-out and damaged, they live on cigarettes, lipstick and fame. Her paintings have their own air of sickliness, however bright the colour; they are as stylised and thin as her subjects, and as vulnerable and doomed to history, on their scraped-on icings of gesso. The paint slips and scuffs around, approximating a glazed, tender indifference.---Read More:http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2009/jul/08/elizabeth-peyton-review

Its fairly evident that celebrities are not marginal figures of our society they were in our parents time. In fact,  they are the basis of our communal and social lives as if basking in the glamour of fame is an end all. Writing, serious art and politics,challenging music are decidedly out of fashion and pop culture is the  way we understand the world, seduced in a manner that the subtexts of racism,consumerism and militarism seem sugar coated and pablum spoon ready. It was not called trash culture for nothing. It seems that if   we want to understand ourselves, if we want to understand the world to which we belong, we must understand celebrities, because the modern world of freedom and loneliness has produced them as the primary communal experience. The design of the star system has its own visual language and code and we  often find ourselves facing up to  vagaries of life, good and bad,  through them. After all, its the path of least resistance to champion image over substance.


---are addressed to the infantile in spirit, prematurely tarnished by temptation. Thus the coyly innocent look of Peyton’s pretty boys and boyish girls the look of those who have not yet resolved and have little interest in resolving what psychoanalysts call the "bisexual conflict" for to be unisexual is to be unsophisticated, not to say boring. ---Read More:http://www.artnet.de/magazine/famefucking-and-other-frivolities/

Donald Kuspit: You’ve got to be an adolescent surely not more than 14 or 15 (maybe 16 and 17 for the seriously emotionally retarded) to believe that Kurt Cobain is a genius (“the Rimbaud of rock”), that Keith Richards is a brilliant musician (“the Beethoven of noise”) and that they’re both artists in the same sense in which Frida Kahlo, another one of Elizabeth Peyton’s idealized celebrities, is. And you’ve got to be art historically ignorant to think that Peyton’s pretty little portraits of celebrities are of the same esthetic quality and expressive complexity as Kahlo’s painful self-portraits. Cuteness is neither beautiful nor sublime, but ingratiating and shallow….

---One’s famous image may rescue one from social anonymity, but it doesn’t rescue one from the troubles of life. Fame may be narcissistically gratifying, but the paradoxical lesson of Warhol’s art is that the more one needs it like the people who wanted Warhol to make them famous, or else confirm their celebrity by giving it the imprimatur of his own celebrity the more one feels like nobody. It is the emotional secret of the famous, and why they try hard to remain famous socially celebrated because as long as they are famous they don’t have to face the feeling that they are nothing, that is, their inner sense of their own triviality. ---Read More:http://www.artnet.de/magazine/famefucking-and-other-frivolities/

…Peyton’s imagery participates in the cult of celebrity, and identifying with a celebrity is a way of having a self one doesn’t have. It happens to be a false self rather than a true self, to use Winnicott’s famous distinction, that is, an unwittingly compliant self rather than a self rooted in spontaneity and hard-won individuality. Peyton’s social performers what else is an artist these days? have put the two together: that’s their real “genius.” The fake, institutionalized, stylized “spontaneity” of Peyton’s artist-musicians’ performances as well-organized and spectacular as Hitler’s rallies, and just as full of “conviction,” that is, charged with the theatrical non-conformity of the “instinctive” is the standard “avant-garde” manner of successful Pop culture. …

---Peyton is taken in by the illusion, while Warhol knew fame is only a mirage as a publicity photograph invariably is and delusion. He knew that those who believe in fame who believe that being famous was "really living" and who trust in fame to give them a good life were deluded. He knew that fame was a highly contagious psychosocial disease. Did he try to inoculate the famous by giving them an extra dose of fame that would save them from its existential ravages? Yes. But it is their delusion of grandeur that is the inner subject matter of his portraits. ---Read More:http://www.artnet.de/magazine/famefucking-and-other-frivolities/ image:http://www.artknowledgenews.com/2009-10-18-01-28-52-the-bonnefantenmuseum-shows-retrospective-of-elizabeth-peytons-oeuvre.html

…Warhol was the first fame-fucker, and Peyton follows in his tracks she’s the latest Warhol wanna-be down to the fact that her portraits are often based on photographs, like his. And like his, they look like cosmeticized canvases rather than paintings. They’re sort of cheaply romantic, like the slick fan magazine illustrations they’re based on. But unlike Warhol’s images, they lack irony. Warhol tended to show his celebrities at the moment their fame had peaked just before their fall from grace into mob popularity. Pushing the limits of popularity, and having nothing more to offer but the novelty of their appearance, they lost hold of their lives and committed suicide (wittingly or unwittingly), as in the case of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Or else they dried up into irrelevance, like Troy Donohue and Elizabeth Taylor, becoming famous for once having been famous. They returned to the everyday meaninglessness they had before Warhol “sanctified” them through his art, giving them an extra touch of fame, however much it also piggy-backed on their fame. He adds to their image, making it more of a pseudo-event than it is by artistically reifying it. …

…Warhol understood that fame is a social fig leaf on personal vacuousness. Peyton thinks it is the fullness of being, showing how shallow her understanding of celebrity is compared to Warhol’s. His awareness that fame dies thus the fame of his death imagery was his way of debunking it. Peyton blindly embraces it, not knowing it is the kiss of death. Thus she is the victim of fame rather than its master, like Warhol. He made the famous jump through his photographic hoop, like animals in a circus, while Peyton adores and pets them, never realizing, as Warhol did, that they are beasts one doesn’t dare get close to. Peyton cozies up to her human subject matter, while Warhol coolly stares it down, for he

ws that it is just another matter of social fact, and he knows its secret vulnerability.

Unlike Peyton, Warhol showed the pimples on the face of fame ephemerality is the biggest pimple. It hints of death, a kind of built-in premature death. The pus of death pours out of ephemerality, and the shadow of death falls across the faces in many Warhol’s portraits. The faces of Peyton’s portraits are unshadowed, untouched by time, bright and sparkling, like fake pearls of pleasure or like the Portrait of Dorian Gray, for they are full of self-deception, even as they deceive society with their forced preciousness…. Read More:http://www.artnet.de/magazine/famefucking-and-other-frivolities/

This entry was posted in Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion, Marketing/Advertising/Media, Modern Arts/Craft, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>