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In the Spotlight But Shining On Its Own - Celebrity Art

Source: Art Business News

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Certainly celebrities who create fine art already have established a name, a reputation, and an audience. However, while notoriety may turn heads, it appears to be the quality of the art- the technique, medium, use of color, composition, emotion, perspective - that is capturing the attention of fine art collectors.

Robert Mann, of his eponymous gallery in New York, did not become involved in Viggo Mortensen's work because Mortensen is a celebrity. In fact, Mann wasn't aware of his status as an actor. What he noticed first was Mortensen's art. For Mann, Mortensen, who starred in A Perfect Murder, is not a celebrity artist, but an artist who also acts.

"I didn't know about his acting," said Mann, "but I do know he's incredibly gifted as a visual artist. He is a very multifaceted and slightly compulsive individual, constantly creating in every medium. His creative energy is boundless; I assume acting is another extension of that."

To create a category called 'celebrity art', Mann believes, is unfair. "I'm sure there are people out there who could be influenced by fame," he said, "but that's not the audience I'm trying to connect with. The connotation of celebrity art is not good. It implies dilettante. I wouldn't put Viggo in that context. He doesn't have to paint; that's not the point. I think Viggo needs to make art - really needs to. That's the way he expresses himself."

Independent art dealer Claudia Wishnow concludes "A celebrity's renown lends so much cache to the art, but if the work doesn't stand on it's own, it doesn't matter who painted it."
Last edited: 17 December 2005 12:43:19
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