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Fame Monster by Shellie Lewis

July 21, 2010

“Fame Monster (Lady Gaga)” by Shellie Lewis

Acrylic paints, metallic acrylic paints, glitter and gloss medium on canvas, 24” x 36”

The portrait is a mainstay of Pop Art.  Andy Warhol had Marilyn Monroe or, more accurately, the death of Marilyn Monroe.  I am more fortunate to have Lady Gaga; she is much more educated, empowered and creative.

I have been working with philosophies of phenomenology in my Pop Art series, and I really pulled off the objective of creating a work that cannot be accurately captured in photography with this painting.  This photograph is not a good image of the painting; but that was part of my goal.  I used gloss medium on the eyes and lips, which obliterated the subtle color differences and shading painted in; the glitter on the eye lids and metallic black face paint reflected so much light the colors were changed and remade in the photograph.

I am finding success in creating work that must be seen in person to actually see what the painting looks like.  All photographs of paintings are representations, but often they are much more successful in capturing the image with accuracy.  {Except for Monet and certain other Impressionist works, where it is my experience that photographs can never accurately capture the paintings at all.}  If I re-photographed this painting in a soft, diffuse light, it would show details that the reflective nature of the materials destroyed in this photograph; but then it would also still be inaccurate since that photograph would mask the texture of the surface.  The painting retains its value as an object to be seen and understood in person, because no matter how it is photographed information is lost or destroyed.

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