Jeremy Kost's Fame Paintings On View in Paris

Jeremy Kost’s celebrity paintings–silkscreened on large-scale canvases from Polaroid images–are paired here with Polaroid facsimiles by Andy Warhol from the 70s and 80s. Both artists share an inquisitive lust to understand fame in all its dramatic guises and extravagant poses. Occasionally they share a subject–Liza Minnelli, Dolly Parton, Keith Richards–though Kost approaches these iconic individuals from a very different perspective. In some cases they are obscured or abstracted; occasionally disembodied, as with Madonna’s head, which appears to float on a sea of silver, or Grace Jones, who dissolves into a beautiful haze of flowers and tapestries. By translating his original photographs into these slick yet gritty canvases, Kost has given his unique vision a new sense of monumentality. In these works, which came from his Polaroid photographs, celebrity is both celebrated and complicated. We see the mobs of paparazzi themselves, clamoring for a shot, and the polarized finish of the paintings themselves is simultaneously glamorous and anti-glamor–just as Beyonce here appears both as a superstar and a sort of monster, caught in the camera’s flash. Like his forbearer Warhol, Kost is a participant in the world he depicts and also somewhat of a voyeur, diligently capturing all the madness and the romance of celebrity, all the while translating a sense of intimacy and access. Jeremy Kost: Always The Center of Attention will be on view until November 18 at Galerie Nuke, 11 Rue Saint Anastase, 75003 Paris, France