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Trophy Lives: On the Celebrity as an Art Object Philippa Snow

Trophy Lives: On the Celebrity as an Art Object Philippa Snow

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Celebrities have long served as sources of inspiration for artists, often yielding captivating and thought-provoking creations. Consider Richard Phillips, whose series of paintings featuring Lindsay Lohan, Robert Pattinson, and Miley Cyrus have garnered attention, or Urs Fischer's striking life-sized candle resembling Leonardo DiCaprio. Notably, art collector Peter Brant enlisted Maurizio Cattelan to craft a sculpture of his wife, supermodel Stephanie Seymour, humorously dubbed 'Trophy Wife'. Valued at $1.5 million, this sculpture prompts contemplation over whether it surpasses Seymour's purported net worth of $100 million, sparking debate over which holds greater artistic merit.

In her illustrated essay, critic Philippa Snow explores the notion of celebrities as self-authored artworks. Drawing upon cultural references spanning the past two decades, Snow posits that as celebrities' private lives become increasingly visible and meticulously curated, celebrity itself evolves into a medium for contemporary art. She suggests that the construction of celebrity personas involves a level of complexity, conceptualization, and allure akin to traditional artistic endeavors, blurring the lines between fame and artistry.

An art critic to rival the greatest: a monumental wit with a talent for detecting the libidinal forces that shape our world. Nathalie Olah

Trophy Lives is a brilliant disquisition on celebrity, beauty, and perception Snow solidifies her place as an essential cultural critic. Lauren Elkin

An unpredictable, in-depth analysis of the convergences of contemporary art and celebrity in its various permutations, written in moreish, richly intertextual prose. An electric book. Sophie Collins

Paperback with flap
12.5 x 19.5cm, 104 pages

ISBN 978-1-915743-12-1
March 2024

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