Thursday, 29 November 2012

Lecture 7: Celebrity Culture

This lecture includes:


- The history of celebrity
- The relationship between photography/film/tv and celebrity
- The cultural significance of celebrities
- How contemporary identity and celebrity are intertwined
- Contemporary icons as case studies 

Julia Margaret Cameron    


- Celebrity portraits in the Pictorialist tradition- the period of the late 19th early 20th century
- A style that imitated painting: soft focus, toning such as sepia, romantic/theatrical themes
The Bride (1869)


Mariana "She said I am aweary, aweary”. 1875
- Sitters are often acting scenes from mythology or religious themes 

The invention of moving images

Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince 


Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince (born Metz 28 August 1841, vanished 16 September 1890) was an inventor who shot the first moving pictures on paper film using a single lens camera.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Le_Prince


Josephine Baker (1906 - 1975)


- Baker costumed for the Danse banane from the Folies Bergères production Un Vent de Folie in Paris in 1927
- Her success coincides with the Art Deco movement which takes influence from African art 


- She had a pet Cheetah which sometimes escaped into the orchestra pit.
- a muse for contemporary authors, painters, designers, and sculptors including Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso 

Influences in Celebrity Culture:


- Celebrities, Glamour, Live Music and Fashion. 
- Fashion Rocks is more than an event – we are a unique brand that transcends the worlds of fashion & music. 
- We are one of the most exciting combined fashion and music fundraising events ever, harnessing the powerful influences of fashion and music to raise money for charity. 
- Our unique eCommerce and retail concept FR by Fashion Rocks will dazzle and wow you. Boasting unique, contemporary and on trend ready to wear fashion from the most exciting designers, some well-known favourites and some unique new gen. FR is 'got to have' fashion for those who are inspired equally by the street, the stage and the catwalk. 
- We are Fashion Rocks. 

Golden age of Hollywood


- Between 1927 and 1960
- The Jazz Singer is the first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences
- Mae McAvoy
- Classical style of invisible editing where image and sound should not draw attention to



Clark Gable 


- “King of Hollywood” starred opposite many star actresses of the time in silent films and on stage
- US army Air Corps during WWII 

Bette Davis 


- Known for willingness to play unlikeable characters
- Mildred in Of Human Bondage (1934), and Regina Giddens in The Little Foxes (1941).
- Married a man who claimed he had never heard of her 

Marilyn Monroe 


- Actress, singer,
- Relationships with Arthur Miller and the Kennedys
- Iconic as a ‘sex symbol’
- Her death freezes this status as her image will never disintegrate 

Andy Warhol - Pop Art


- Her face becomes a mask as it is endlessly repeated in publicity, the news,
- The idea that there is a different woman underneath ie: Norma Jean Baker prevails
- Circumstances of her death seem to confirm/not confirm this simultaneously as she becomes ‘myth’ 

Audrey Flack's - Marilyn (1977)

- In the tradition of the 16th/17th Century Vanitas painting where objects in the image have symbolic meaning
- Photorealism- airbrush 

Elvis Presley 


- Warhol uses an image of him acting the classic American hero- the cowboy
- Blurs our vision, reminds us that the image is all we can see
- His home Graceland is a place of pilgrimage for fans, then a museum after his death 

John F Kennedy 


- Celebrity politician- youth and good looks
- Television speeches
- Fashionable beautiful wife 


His death in 1963 was not filmed by TV cameras but by the public 





The Jacksons as a brand

- Musicians /performers
- 1971 The Jackson 5 had an animated cartoon on TV
- 1976 they star in a comedy where they act as themselves 

Michael Jackson



- The changes in Michaels appearance are interpreted as reactions to the abuse he and his family suffered at the hands of their father.
- He looks less like his father by reducing his African American features: nose, skin colour, afro hair etc. 

Lady Gaga vs Madonna
The two have been compared through their fashion and music taste, seems there are icon similarities! 

Feminists


- A feminist statement: "If we don't stand up for our rights soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones. And I am not a piece of meat.” 
- Dr Richard Noble, head of art department, Goldsmiths College, University of London. "She appears to be referencing the Canadian artist Jana Sterbak, who exhibited a 'flesh dress' made of meat. 


Barak Obama


- ‘Pop’ President
- His election seems to offer progress in American politics as he is the first black president
- Young, good looking, musical
- Employs graffiti artist Sheperd Fairey for his election campaign 

Princess Diana 1981



- Represents innocence and beauty as the truth of her marriage to Charles emerges
- Reinvents herself as fashion icon as they begin to separate 



Photographed by Mario Testino a famous fashion photographer 

The Paparazzi


- Seem to be to blame for Diana’s death in 1997
- But our demand for ‘real life’ images of celebrities creates a market for these images which command huge financial rewards 



- We can follow celebrities
- Details of their home and private lives
- We can find out immediately of their latest projects
- Read their innermost thoughts 


- Elvis’s Hair- $115,120 by selling a lock from the famous black quiff back in 2002.
- Britney Spears Gum – $514
- Scarlett Johanssons used tissue- $5,300 made for charity 

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