Seeing Stars

Fame can be toxic. It can unleash stars’ self-destructive drives and vulnerabilities. Such are the morality tales that surround celebrity, female celebrity especially. This portfolio of art by amateur and professional artists glorifies stars whose celebrity is infused with public shame. Their private pain becomes the dark, paradoxical basis of fandom.

The artists featured here approach their subjects as fans. Yet their works reveal a range of emotive responses to their publicly troubled star-subjects.  Some appear to be at odds with an adoring and protective investment in cherished idols. Images transform glamorous but shamed celebrities into supernatural, totemic figures: desecrating admired bodies blurs the line between predator and prey. By turning their subjects into zombies, these works, taken as a group, manufacture a special genre of redemption, revenge. Graphic gore surfaces in portraits—schadenfreude and sadism emerge as the real face of celebration.

Stella Vine, Courtney blue dress, 2006
Courtesy Modern Art Oxford.
honigman-1

Daniela Luna, Lindsay, 2012
honigman-2

Dawn Mellor, Cigarette Dream Dorothy, 2008
honigman6

Richard Phillips, Lindsay II, 2012
Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photograph by Robert McKeever.
honigman-4

Marc Quinn, Sleeping Beauty, 2005
Courtesy artificialgallery.co.uk
honigman7

MAY1ZZZ, lilo Lindsay Lohan
fanpop.com
honigman-5

Taranenko, Rihanna, 2011
DeviantArt.com
honigman8

Brothers De La Motte, Paris Hilton’s selfie, Undated
honigman9

imsoqueer, Mary-Kate, 2011
DeviantArt.com
honigman10

Cameron Gray, Oops…I did it again, 2007
Collection of Howard and Judith Tullman.
honigman11

docop, Giantess Lindsay Lohan, 2011
DeviantArt.com
honigman12