A decade ago, Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a car crash in a Paris tunnel. Her marriage, divorce, and love affairs were a front page sensation. Photo journalists had a "field day" and were paid miliions of dollars for just the right photograph. Were we as a society always obsessed with those having "star" qualities?
Perhaps it all began with religious art as a visual representation of Biblical events. An artist such as Fra Angelico (Italian Early Renaissance painter, 1387-1455), was a monk who began as a book illustrator and then became a painter. He decorated the walls of the cells of his monastery with devotional frescoes depicting the life of Christ. Clergy members would pray before these religious "icons."
Bringing the story up to modern day, Andy Warhol (American Pop artist, 1928-1987) was revolutionary in producing silkscreen prints of the people and events that appeared in newspapers. His prints of Marilyn Monroe and Jacqueline Kennedy depicted them as "larger than life." The sheer size of the image made them appear "god-like."
In our society today, celebrities have become our reality. We watch movies and music videos and visualize these characters taking on the personae of friends as they do indeed become a part of our everyday lives. We discuss them at the water cooler at work and we read the tabloids at the supermarkets.
My article, "Celebrity Art Collectors: Jolie, Pitt, Martin" incited some of my readers to write and express their defense for these celebrities. Yes, I agree, they certainly can purchase whatever art they like, but I am also entitled to my say. I was surprised to see how some people take what they read so literally and seriously.
I'm not saying that I don't enjoy watching repeats of "Oceans Eleven" to see George Clooney and Brad Pitt. As a woman I know stated, "They're easy on the eyes." They are and will always remain "movie idols."
We all have our heroes and favorite stars, but let's not put these mortal beings into the category: Icons. That should be reserved exclusively for those holy enough to deserve the title. Amen.
You can own wall art of Marilyn Monroe, available here from Amazon.com.
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