Is every star an artist? More and more successful actors, musicians and celebrities are also active in the arts and thus go public. Why do they seek further success on the art stage? Or does art rather serve the purpose of personal self-discovery? The exhibition Beyond Fame. The Art of Stars presents works by international and national celebrities from August 18, 2023 to January 24, 2024, offering insights behind the facade of public figures, beyond role and celebrity.
As different as the personalities from acting, sports, politics, music or literature are, so are their paths to art. The choice of artistic medium is often unexpected and surprising, the works closely linked to the respective biographies. The exhibition presents painting, photography, video and installation works by Bryan Adams, Meret Becker, Tim Bendzko, Carlito (Cro), Samy Deluxe, Anna Delvey, Lea Draeger, Peter Doherty, Harald Glööckler, Grimes, Josephine Henning, Anton Hofreiter, Isis-Maria Niedecken, Edi Rama, Jean Remy, Michael Stich, Laura Tonke and Gedeon Schenkt.
The artists on display share years of intense involvement with art, even though many did not attend an academy but began as self-taught artists. The compilation of works shows that the trend is towards universal artists who write, paint, sing, photograph and like to go beyond common formats.
Artists like Lea Draeger and Meret Becker are at home in diverse artistic fields. Lea Draeger is an actress, author and visual artist. She has been a permanent ensemble member of the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin since 2015. In 2022, she published her highly acclaimed novel debut, and since 2018 she has increasingly worked as an artist: she draws popes, with whom she questions patriarchal systems and hierarchical structures. Meret Becker comes from a family of artists and is herself a singer, actress and painter. In her art she deals with social issues and uses her popularity to campaign for women's rights.
Rock stars like Bryan Adams and Peter Doherty have sold millions of records and have been artistic for many years. While for Adams, good photographs are like time capsules that store memories, art offers scandal-plagued Libertines singer Peter Doherty an expressive way to process his life, along with poetry. He paints with blood and charcoal, wildly combining drawing, painting, image-text collages and sculpture. The works of Canadian musician Claire Elise Boucher aka Grimes are populated by warriors*, nymphs, cyborgs and manga characters, which she also embodies herself in her music videos. She draws inspiration for her drawings and covers from mythical and psychedelic images, borrows figures and motifs from Art Nouveau and Surrealists, and often uses artificial intelligence.
However, not only in culture and entertainment, but also in areas supposedly further removed from art, such as politics and sports, there are personalities who, in addition to their careers, are also active as artists. His enthusiasm for botany is expressed in the works of politician Anton Hofreiter, a member of the German Bundestag since 2005 and a biologist with a doctorate. His most frequent motifs are flowers, and drawing is for him a way "to see how things really are." Former Wimbledon champion Michael Stich became interested in art at a young age and became an avid art collector before he began to process personal experiences by putting them on canvas. "My art is a reflection of my personality and emotions," he says.
Under the pseudonym Gedeon Schenkt, a prominent person is part of the exhibition, whose identity is yet to be revealed. Visitors will be left to search for clues in the works and thus also to pursue the question of the extent to which identity is linked to the public person and the work of art.
In addition to personal insights and surprising perspectives on well-known personalities, the exhibition also holds up a mirror to visitors: In the encounter with the works, one involuntarily realizes how strongly one is influenced by the media stereotypes of prominent people, how much these direct one's own reception, and how many of one's own desires and fantasies we direct towards famous people.
The exhibition is curated by Alain Bieber, Artistic Director of the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf.This content has been machine translated.
regular: 9 Euro and reduced: 6 Euro, children and teenagers under 18 years and members of the circle of friends have free admission