My niece, Jessica Voorsanger Brill, is a well known London artist. She has been exploring the nexus between celebrities and their fans through art. She is now using a Kickstarter campaign to publish a book that will bring together 20 years of fascinating projects that explore popular culture and celebrity from many surprising angles, including her most recent bald male celebrities project. She makes an amazing Yul Brynner. If you are interested in checking it out, go to www.kickstarter.com and type in jessica voorsanger.
The movie, "Splendor In The Grass", radiates the very essence of Wordsworth's poem. "What through the radiance/ which was so bright/Be now for ever taken from my sight/Though nothing can bring back the hour/of splendor in the grass."
Natalie Wood, as Deanie, experiences transcendence that comes from the purest romantic love. I remember seeing that movie when it was first shown in 1961. I too had experienced my first true love and loss. It is as if you cannot breathe, the romantic feelings are so heightened. And then, in Deanie's case, you cannot live when it is taken away from you.
My painting tries to capture what she was feeling right before she walked to that dark and waiting river, planning to throw herself in.
Her intensity is unmatched. Her glowing, globular brown eyes. When Beattie's character betrayed her, she broke like glass. Shattered, though pieced back together in the Sanitarium. While Beattie's character went on to an earthy happiness with Zohra Lampert, Deanie's happiness is forever lost.
What about in real life? Wood and Beattie were young lovers. Did Natalie ever find such happiness again? I don't think so based on her tragic end.
Warren Beattie is apparently happily married just like his character in the movie. While Natalie was left on a yacht, bitter cocktail in hand, until she fell, plunged or was pushed into the treacherous waters of Catalina. We still don't know the answer.
I once rode on a glass bottomed boat in Catalina. I saw the leaping, silver, flying fish. Do not be misled by the glittering fish of Hollywood.
Just like the beginning of Wordsworth's poem that speaks of what the untouched child sees, "There was a time when meadow, grove and stream/ The earth, and every common sight, To me did seem/Apparelled in celestial light."
Natalie Wood was once that joyous exuberant child. It's a long way from "Miracle on 34th Street", to "Splendor In the Grass" and tragically to Catalina's cold, still, final end.
grace Kelly, beyond the icon
I just went to the Grace Kelly exhibit at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA. It will be there until January 26, 2014. What a great show!! All of those beautiful dresses Princess Grace wore in movies, such as the Country Girl for which she won an Oscar, home movies from when she was a girl prancing on the beach in Ocean City, NJ, and gorgeous photos and other memorabilia from her 1956 marriage to Prince Rainier.
Princess Grace was the FIRST Princess Di. A beautiful American actress who gave it all up to become a real live princess. As a princess she sponsored cultural events, helped the people of Monaco, and gave very glamorous balls. I particularly liked the magnificent costumes she wore to the balls. Great headpieces made of ornate gold sculptures, buoyant sleeves in the tradition of the gilded age.
She had a tiny waist, and as the exhibit stated, her style was "elegance discrete." A beautiful simplicity with magnificent sparkling organza, detailing from the great designers of the day. They don't make clothes or movie stars like that today.
The exhibit makes no mention of the car crash that took her life. This too, sadly, is like Princess Di. A fairytale life ending in tragedy.