An artist recently painted a nude portrait of Angelina Jolie as he imagined she might look after her double mastectomy. Next week a voluptuous nude fertility statue of a pregnant Kim Kardashian will be unveiled at an L.A. art gallery.
Though Jolie and Kardashian have virtually nothing in common besides fame and fortune, both celebrities have suddenly become muses for modern artists.
The Picasso wannabes -- Johan Andersson and Daniel Edwards -- are claiming they depicted the two media darlings in their vulnerable states because of the strong emotions their situations evoked.
"My mother had aggressive breast cancer when I was 15," said Andersson, recalling his fear that she might need a mastectomy. Though it turned out his mother did not need the surgery, the Swedish artist noted, "The recent news about Angelina stirred an anxiety within me leading me to paint this portrait. There is an underlying awkwardness in her demeanour in juxtaposition to the natural beauty of her face."
Edwards, who sculpted a life-size pregnant replica of the reality TV star said, "I was inspired by the beauty of Kim Kardashian and felt quite put-off by the media's criticism of her weight gain during pregnancy. Such criticism should be off limits."
The sentiments of these Sir Galahads of the art world make it seem like their intent was to portray these two celebrities as powerful, sympathetic figures. But could money have been a motive as well?
Andersson's painting will reportedly fetch an estimated $22,000 at auction, according to a report in the New York Daily News.
Meanwhile, Edwards has a history of hopping aboard the fame train of celebrities at opportune moments. The Indiana native has sculpted Britney Spears giving birth to her son Sean Preston on a bearskin rug and a satirical bronzed sculpture of Suri Cruise's first bowel movement. To maximize its commercial success, the new Kardashian fertility sculpture is being described in salacious terms by the LAB ART Gallery, which will debut the controversial piece June 5:
"The life-size full-figured nude Kardashian sculpture titled 'L.A. Fertility' stands curvaceous and proud, with lactiferous breasts, protruding navel and legs akimbo," wrote publicist Cory Allen in an official press release for the show. "(It) features a voluminous belly 'designed to entice visitors to give a respectful rub for good luck and success.'"
Not surprisingly, Kardashian's sensationalized pregnancy and Jolie's courageous surgery have captured the curiosity and imagination of celebrity watchers as well as artists.
While still married to basketball star Kris Humphries, Kardashian became pregnant with rapper Kanye West's child and kept headline writers busy. Throughout her pregnancy the curvy brunette has worn hip-hugging fashions that accentuate her baby-bump-turned-bowling-ball belly. More recently she has been forcing her swollen feet into too-tight high-heeled shoes, like one of Cinderella's step-sisters. The media's snarkiness about her pregnancy poundage created a backlash from celebs such as Gwyneth Paltrow, who actually defended a pregnant woman's right to gain weight in defiance of her fitness guru Tracy Anderson.
Meanwhile, the fiancé of Brad Pitt recently announced to the world via a prestigious first-person column in the New York Times that she possesses a gene that gave her an 87 percent chance of getting breast cancer. To avoid getting the disease -- and potentially leaving her six children motherless -- she underwent a double mastectomy and had breast reconstruction surgery to restore the appearance of natural breasts. After the public got over the shock of her poignant secret, an outpouring of celebrity and fan support for the "Salt" actress flooded the media.
Ironically, despite their lucrative money-making potential, the sculpture of the pregnant Kardashian and oil painting of the post-mastectomy Jolie may actually have some legitimate artistic merit. The art objects depict two women previously known for their goddess-like physical features who may have suddenly become more beautiful after suffering the same physical and medical challenges as the mere mortals who follow their every move.
What do you think? Did the artists exploit Jolie and Kardashian's medical situations for money or are they making legitimate artistic statements?
More From This Contributor:
Note:This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network here to start publishing your own articles.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Kim Kardashian
- Angelina Jolie
- Daniel Edwards