If the traditional portrait was born from direct contact between artist and model, in contemporary art all has been reversed. Most often, it borrows images from the mas media, portraits of political and pop-cultural “stars”, reduced to glorified cliché by billions of views.
The exaltation of personality through its destruction is one of the main secrets of mass civilization. This is why it is depicting depersonalized individuality in portrait form and the perverted heroism of vulgarity that becomes the central theme of contemporary visual art — at once both critical and compromising. As well as the “reuse” of images of celebrities itself, this theme includes the authorial travesty directly connected with it: self-portraits of artists as “stars” or, on the contrary, impersonal, but immediately recognizable human types.
The exhibition will features works by Russian and foreign artists from the Stella Art Foundation collection.