Celebrities Making Art

Quite a few famous celebrities have decided to try their hand at making art. Miley Cyrus, James Franco, Shia LaBeouf are a few that have had their own art show.

Miley Cyrus’s show “Dirty Hippy” work has been described as drug induced creation, not too far off from what you’d expect. A towering 5 foot bong brightly colored and covered with leis, weed, rave candies, beads.

James Franco displayed a number of paintings, drawings and photographs in several shows. One being a series of photographs referencing the artist Cindy Sherman, and his latest series of paintings “Fat Squirrel”

Shia LaBeouf had a performance piece “#IAMSORRY” where he collaborated with two artists, British artist Luke Turner and Finnish artist Nastja Säde Rönkkö, at the Cohen Gallery, where LaBeouf sat silently behind a desk in a room with a paper bag over his head, reading “I am not famous anymore”. For five days, members of the public queued to sit alone with him in the room with a prop of their choice.

Macaulay Culkin, Jay-Z, George W. Bush, Michael Jackson, Kei$ha, Ringo Starr, the list goes on.

Shia LaBeouf performance #IAMSORRY with paper bag over his head, reading "I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE"
Celebrities Making Art: Shia LaBeouf performance #IAMSORRY with paper bag over his head, reading "I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE"

Each time there’s a ton of buzz around it, and the reception is often split.

That’s not “Art”, they’re just trying to make money, what a joke, and perhaps most interesting to me, “We’re only looking at this because they’re celebrities”.

People are quick to jump in with their two-cents, and it’s so easy to with Social Media playing a huge role in these PR bursts.

The intermingling of celebrities and the art world has always been a thing. Musicians, actors, they’re still within that same artistic sphere, and art has always run with the richest crowd -

Having a big name gets you far - and rolls in the big bucks. If anything, this tells us the nature of the art market. It’s pretty simple. Galleries want to make money, and having ties to famous people gets the rich people open their wallets. Having celebrities headline shows, is a natural choice.

I don’t blame these galleries for this practice. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing that famous people are making art.

Art making is therepedic, creative, cathartic. There’s a lot of benefits to making art, and I’m not going to discourage anyone from making it.

Any person who has the motivation to produce work, that’s already an impressive feat. I’m glad they are interested and invest their time and energy towards it.

Now, that doesn’t make it good art. It doesn’t mean they deserve or “earned” a show at a big gallery. They get the show because they’re famous. Is that fair? Probably not.

Whether they’re doing it for personal growth, media buzz, or money, I hope at least their work in genuine, and not just someone or a team behind the scenes telling them what kind of art to produce.

If these guys are serious and genuinely want to create art, I hope they focus on the real impact they can have. Sell or auction off the work, and donate the proceeds to art programs who help underserved youth, art therapy programs and so on.

At the end of the day, they generate a lot of opinions and thoughts from people who, otherwise, might not give art a second thought. And I'm always a fan of things that brings up so many interesting discussions about art!

So what do you guys think? Have you seen any of these celebrities’ instant artists? What do you think about their work? Let me know in the comments below!


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