Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - CLASSIFIEDS -

Bri­tish-Amer­i­can con­tem­po­rary artist Rus­sell Young is best known for his com­pelling, larger-than-life silkscreen paint­ings of cul­tural icons. This ex­hi­bi­tion presents the artist’s work span­ning two decades, por­tray­ing celebri­ties along­side po­lit­i­cal giants and show­ing how Young ab­sorbs, pro­cesses and re-con­tex­tu­al­izes the im­agery of pop­u­lar cul­ture from the sec­ond half of the 20th cen­tury on­wards. Us­ing “Su­per­star” as a con­cept, the show fo­cuses on the ex­hi­bi­tion ex­pe­ri­ence, try­ing to de­fine the essence of what truly makes a su­per­star and in­ter­pret the process of cre­at­ing a su­per­star. By pre­sent­ing screen-printed re­pro­duc­tions of celebrity po­lice mugshots, Young has stripped away their in­vin­ci­ble pop sta­tus and re­placed it with a more hu­man iden­tity, frac­tur­ing the con­ven­tional celebrity por­trait and ac­knowl­edg­ing the hu­man be­neath the icon, that pop­u­lar cul­ture of­ten veils. Young also adds a sense of glamor and op­u­lence through his use of di­a­mond dust. The shim­mer­ing tex­ture of this method pro­vides lit­eral glamor, yet the cheap, mass-pro­duced ma­te­rial used to cre­ate the il­lu­sion of the ul­ti­mate sym­bol of wealth con­forms per­fectly to Young’s main ex­plo­ration in this se­ries: the painful re­al­ity of celebrity hid­den be­hind the glamor. The mu­seum also granted the star­dom ex­pe­ri­ence to the visi­tors through well-de­signed photo booths with in­ter­ac­tive in­stal­la­tions so that ev­ery vis­i­tor can also have their 15 minutes of fame, like a true pop icon.

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