‘Refusal of obedience is one definition of rebel, if asked, almost everyone, hopefully, could join the ranks of defying the rules at least once in their lives and yet it is the continual refusal of obedience that is often the catapult from obscurity. Perhaps the worldwide fascination with rebels is the utmost admiration of that continual defiance.
For this solo exhibit of Russell Young, an artist whose work has graced the auction block at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips in both the United States and the UK., we wanted to serve up fame with all its intrigue and hidden costs.
What is the allure of Marilyn Monroe? The beauty? The tragedy? Only a rebel can survive an orphanage, 12 foster homes and marrying someone at 16 just to get a foothold into a new beginning that would eventually take her to the pinnacle of stardom. It makes you wonder what she is thinking now. Is she surprised at all that her legacy lives on or did she insure it?
Bowie, famous for his Rebel Rebel song, was fluid before the adjective moved beyond flow. Did he see the future, or did he define it? What is he thinking now and, more importantly, are he and Marilyn poolside enjoying Bombay Sapphire Martinis? Add in Hendrix and Dean who both burned so bright so fast, while Elvis and Liz changed the world and lasted longer but not long enough. And yet Bardot lives on. Life is a complicated dance where you never know when the music is going to stop. Sometimes you have to look to science for the answers.
“Massive stars burn out faster because they have more fuel, but they need to use more fuel to sustain their status, so they exhaust their fuel in a shorter amount of time.”
The beauty of this exhibit beyond the paints and the diamond dust and the intensity of the portraits is that all these icons are trapped in a time of endless possibility even if some happen to be at that precise moment, posing for a mug shot.’