Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Briefest of notes on Lindsey Lohan, dressed up as Marilyn

The thinking here regarding the re-staging by photographer Bert Stern of Marilyn Monroe's famous "last sitting"--about which we have commented before--with Lindsey Lohan standing in is that Ms. Lohan is doing herself no particular favors.

In the end, at least for me, the take-away is that Lindsey ain't no Marilyn. Who would, of course, be seen here:

A couple of thoughts: First, the big red X you see on the picture (this is, I believe, actually the cover of a book Stern produced from the shoot and, perhaps, subsequent gallery shows, etc.) was put there by Monroe herself, saying she didn't like these images and didn't want them printed. Stern got a bunch of shit--rightly, it would seem to me--for ignoring her wishes and printing them up like nobody's business. Did I say Marilyn died six weeks after the shoot?

Second, if you compare these photos (some of them are really stunning, particularly when seen printed large) with the New York Magazine Lohan shoot, you can't help but say to yourself, wow, Marilyn looks way better than the other girl, even on the cusp of her demise, even from a good ways already into the abyss, even being fifteen years or so her senior.

The NYTimes shares:
Ms. Lohan looks narrow-hipped and voluptuous in the pictures, taut and soft. At 21 she seems even older than Monroe, who was 36 in the originals, and hardened by her excesses. The photographs bear none of Monroe’s fragility. In the first picture — Ms. Lohan wears a platinum wig and false eyelashes for all the images, by the way — she drapes the pink chiffon across her torso diagonally, and if she looks like anyone at all, it is Madonna. Monroe looked available in her Stern photos; Ms. Lohan looks available for sale.
So I am not alone in my thinking.

All that said, the reason I'm empowered to speak about this has something to do with this painting:

Called Grasso II (Peerless), it was a second take on my much acclaimed (I smile typing this) Big Dick I (Hundred Million). This time around I tried to paint him on wet canvas, just to see. And while there was much to like, in the end I decided that the image was unworkable.

So, inspired by the Monroe/Stern images, of which my favorites were often the ones she'd Xd out, I decided that a statement could perhaps be made by Xing this one out.

Xcept that I completely fucked up the X. And that was the end of that. A desperate act by a desperate man to try and save something that couldn't really be saved. Sometimes near misses are just that. And you can't get the bullet back--it's gone. Truth be told, if I had gotten the X right (and I am kicking myself because I know how I would do it now, and the effect would have been really smokin'), I almost certainly would have kept the painting.

Now, let's pause together, you and I, dear reader, for a moment and reflect on just what a miracle The Year of Magical Painting--the blog, not the years it chronicles--is. Where else do artists just cough up their failures for everyone else to see? And not just see! No, you get the whole blow by blow. Me? Hey I've painted plenty of crappy paintings. They're like hair balls. I got plenty more I can honk up from the depths of my gullet.

So to speak.

Anyway, it is a miracle. And I don't get enough credit.


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