Celebrity is one of the strangest social phenomena. While one can assume that the first man to discover fire or the wheel was famous amongst his peers, and fame and celebrity are clearly nothing new, in contemporary society fame and celebrity are associated with increasingly inconsequential actions or deeds, and our appetite has grown hand-in-hand with technology’s leaps and bounds and the advent of social media.
Of particular interest and fascination to me is the endless cataloguing of images of the famous (especially the mundane and the common) as though “they” are a rare species to be studied at all times and we are merely anthropologists on a quest to prove that “they” are indeed merely human and “just like us”.
They stand, they smile, they emote and they react; they trip, they fall, they blunder and excel; they walk through airports and wait in coffee lines, they smoke cigarettes in parking lots and walk from cars to night clubs and grocery stores.
And we love it. Indeed, we send – and pay – our golems (single-minded representatives with a single goal – for without our demand there would be no supply) to hunt, chase, hound, follow and photograph – catalogue – every possible aspect of this everyday commonness to which they can gain access of any kind.
With this ongoing project I am cataloguing this commonplace humanity, exemplifying their dreary ordinariness. To ask why I would paint or draw such images is to ask why are interested in them in the first place, why we have summoned others to collect them at all…
The works are often created as sequences on one or more sheets of paper, where they play out like storyboards or a comic book, but they have no beginning or end, they tell no story, as the sequence of paparazzi photos used as reference are altered, or the same image (or similar images) are repeated. This repetition of an already repetitive image, the negation of an already wholly inconsequential sequence of non-events serves to amplify their mundane, common nature.