Pin-Up: The Art of Celebrity at Tate Liverpool

By Katya Mira | 26 April 2002

Left: Mick Jagger, 1977, Linda McCartney, © Estate of Linda McCartney.

Art depictions of celebrity culture are currently being shown in a new exhibition at Tate Liverpool until November 24.

This new show celebrates the changes and developments in the cult of the celebrity over the last century.

Right: Marilyn, 1974, James Rosenquist, © James Rosenquist/VAGA, New York/DACS, London 2002.

Pop art and photographs of three different types of celebrity - the pop star, film star and model are on display.

The exhibition looks at the ways our celebrity-obsessed culture has changed and developed over the last century. It raises issues of fan worship, body image and the celebrity as a consumer product.

Left: Pete Townsend, 1977, Linda McCartney, © Estate of Linda McCartney.

David Hockney explores the hysterical young fan base of pop idols like Elvis and Cliff Richard.

In contrast Richard Hamilton uses the Rolling Stones to comment on how the sex, drugs and rock n' roll mentality of the swinging sixties came into conflict with the authorities.

Right: from Marilyn, Andy Warhol, 1967, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ARS, NY and DACS, London, 2002.

The first modern celebrity, the film star, is explored in various ways. Michael Andrews and Pauline Boty worked on a large scale to reflect both the vastness of the silver screen and the grandeur of the stars.

In contrast Andy Warhol depicts Marilyn Monroe in the same repetitive way as his work on the mass-produced tins of Campbell soup, introducing the idea of the celebrity as a commodity.

Left: Jimi Hendrix Blue, 1977, Linda McCartney, © Estate of Linda McCartney.

From the wholesome, all-American pin-up girl who lifted the spirits of Second World War servicemen with their smiles, images of the model developed through to Twiggy's waif-look in the sixties and the more moody, self-assured stare of today's supermodels.

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