ML - Michigan Avenue

2013 - Issue 8 - December

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 75 of 147

ART FULL Andy Warhol took this 1980 photo of singer/ songwriter Carly Simon with a Polaroid Big Shot camera. Star Gazing I mage is everything, especially for the famous. Long before the word "branding" became a part of everyone's vocabulary, the celebrated gladly sat for the camera, knowing a likeness—especially one made by a master—would go a long way toward cementing a reputation. With "Steichen/Warhol: Picturing Fame," Northwestern University's Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art explores Steichen's role in manufacturing celebrity, and the pop art icon's rewriting of the rules decades later. Both men had experience in the commercial world (Steichen with ad agency J. Walter Thompson; Warhol as magazine illustrator), and both deployed a highly individual talent for rendering the rich and famous. But while Steichen captured marquee names in a respectful, richly luminous style, the boy from Pittsburgh wielded the camera like a blunt instrument, 74 fashioning images that elevated and deglamorized his subjects in the same flash. Where Steichen portrayed troubled playwright Eugene O'Neill looking dapper and sure of himself, Warhol snapped Studio 54's Steve Rubell shirtless on a summer afternoon. "Steichen crafted his portraits with dramatic lighting, bold close-ups, and stark backgrounds that evoked the stage and the film set," notes curator Elliot Reichert. "Warhol grew up steeped in a popular culture that Steichen had in a large part shaped. He revered that classic look, and he understood precisely how it was constructed. Most importantly, Warhol knew that anyone and everyone could be made glamorous, and that's precisely what he set out to accomplish." January 17–April 6, 2014, Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston, 847-491-4000; MA PHOTOGRAPHY BY ARTIST RIGHTS SOCIETY THE MARY & LEIGH BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART SHINES A SPOTLIGHT ON CELEBRITY WITH "STEICHEN/WARHOL: PICTURING FAME." BY THOMAS CONNORS MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 074_MA_SC_ArtFull_Winter2014.indd 74 11/19/13 4:57 PM

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