November 16 - December 19
OPENING: Thursday, November 30, 6-8 PM
November 16 - December 19, 2017
Ro2 Art at The Magnolia Theatre
Ro2 Art is thrilled to present ‘Monster Star,’ a solo exhibition featuring new watercolor celebrity portraits by artist Patty Rooney. The show will run from November 16 through December 19, 2017. There will be an opening reception held Thursday, November 30, from 6-8 p.m. at The Magnolia Theatre’s Second Floor Bar, located in West Village at 3699 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75204.
In her latest series, Patty Rooney creates stunningly stylized yet realistic watercolor portraits of female Hollywood Stars. Each of her subjects is considered a "monster star" either from the magnitude of her success, her role playing a monstrous character, or her reputation of being a monster to work with. The portraits sparkle with the same power and bravado that made the actresses monsters on screen. Opting out of titling each portrait by the pictured actress, Rooney instead cleverly titles each portrait with a famous quote by the actress. The quotes are acidic and sardonic in nature generally and serve to magnify the grandiose star power of the actresses.
Until a couple of years ago my work consisted primarily of encaustic wax portraiture. Considering the disparate properties between wax and water, working with watercolor on yupo is not, surprisingly, a giant leap. Both mediums share a certain versatility in their seductive ability to capture light and to produce flat or uniquely textured surfaces. Both mediums allow a series of approximations – layering, erasing… a building up. Both mediums have allowed for the emotion, and the psychological complexity I strive to achieve in my portraits of female archetypes.
MONSTER STAR explores the fickle and fleeting game of celebrity. I am drawn to the relationship between history and pop culture and the illusion of glamour and power juxtaposed with fragility and vulnerability. Many of these women played a significant part in my childhood. These starlets were emblematic of their eras. Prior to the existence of cinema as a mass industry such role models were not available. Clara Bow, the original IT girl of the twenties, might have worked in a factory or ended up on the streets. The motion picture industry gave her a chance to reinvent herself. Cinema provided a huge, critical mass of women a notion of themselves as liberated.
However, Memento Mori is also at work as I reflect on aging and mortality. A star falters. Beauty fades. Anyone familiar with the “psycho-rivalry” of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford knows that the narratives drastically change in the Hollywood machine. Art imitates the transience of life. Starring roles fall by the wayside. Past their prime, the more stalwart actresses of yesteryear chose to carry on and embrace a certain campiness. Others just wanted to be left alone.