Who’s Taylor Swift Anyway?

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Folks, I’ve been busy working away at this labor of love, an upcoming art show revolving around the theme of…Taylor Swift.  If you’re in the New York area, be sure to come to the opening March 28th, from 7-9 at Fowler Project Space in Brooklyn.   There will live performance, and Taylor Swift cake.

More information can be found over here: Who’s Taylor Swift Anyway?

Sympathetic Justin Biebers

Sympathetic Justin BIebers

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to be unaware of the fact that Justin Bieber is a hot mess right now. Actually, scratch ‘hot mess’. There’s a certain hip quality to that term. He is struggling. Yes ‘poor boy billionaire’ is the public dialogue, but he’s a human being having a hard time dealing with the creation he’s become, and the level of removal from reality we’ve placed him at. I’ve started a series of “Sympathetic Justin Biebers”. I don’t have a particular soft spot for the boy, but I do think we ought to care, and give him some sympathy. All images I am working from are from his instagram account, which to my knowledge, he has control over.

My Father, Andy Warhol, and the New Celebrity

      When I was a child fame seemed so elusive and grandiose.   I did not think I, nor anyone around me would be able to attain this pinnacle of achievement or inclusion.   The closest thing to fame I knew was my father occasionally being mistaken for a Yankee player at the bar across from the old Yankee Stadium.  My father was never a Yankee.   However, he did have a photo of himself and Mickey Mantle, both in full uniform as a result of my mother’s 40th birthday present to my father of “Yankee Fantasy Baseball Camp”.  At the end camp, my father asked Mickey Mantle to sign the photo of them both,  “To Bill, a great hitter.” Instead, Mr. Mantle signed it “To Bill, a great hitter? – Mickey Mantle.”  Refusing to let this question mark sit in peace, my father signed his own side of the photo with “You Bet!!! –Bill Grammaticas.”  A copy of this photo was prominently hung at my father’s friend’s bar across from Yankee Stadium. He was often mistaken for a Yankee player when people connected the photo with him at the bar.  Each time someone asked when my father played for the Yankees, I felt connected through his faulty fame.  I knew it wasn’t real, but there was magic in the illusion.   What I didn’t know was that years later, my father’s strategic fame trickery would become common cultural exercise.

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     Andy Warhol famously said we would all be famous for fifteen minutes.  He should have added that if we didn’t make that fifteen minute cut, we would be spending our time trying to look as if we did, or might one day.  

Fame was a different creature in during the era of Andy Warhol.  Staples of reaching fame included magazine covers and talk show interviews and likely a successful career propelled from the realms of sports, the arts, or politics.  Now, the bulk of the western world has cameras in their hands, and can easily manipulate and upload these images of themselves and the world around them, and in nearly real time.  We don’t wait for the holidays or gatherings to show photos to family and friends.  We also don’t have to wait to be nominated for an Oscar to feel as though we have a large audience.  These days, through the assistance of the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we are acting out in our own news cycles, providing our own life commentary.

     My father gets mad every time I meet a celebrity without receiving an autograph from them.  Paris Hilton in her cameo on the early 2000’s teen show The O.C. states that cellphone photos are ‘the autographs of the 21st century. 

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To ask for that autograph is to admit that you are not equal, but merely a fan, thus denying your own possibilities at fame.  You are doing a similar action by getting a photo with them, it may at least look like you could know each other or be friends.  The autograph slashes these dreams apart, and doesn’t translate nearly as well for social media sharing purposes. Except of course, if it’s a work of deception like my father’s double autographed Yankee portrait.  We are controlling our own images like a celebrity by attempting to control the perception of ourselves through these images.    Andy Warhol knew that we could create our own fame, but what he didn’t know was just how easy it would become.  After all, even my dad could do it.

 

Futher Visuals: Fan + Celebrity Selfies

 

 

 

August Updates : Taylor Swift’s Dancing, Art Shows, and Meta-Moments with James Franco

  I know I’ve been a bit M.I.A. over here but this blog is not forgotten.  It’s been a busy summer, and I have some new big projects in the works, rekindling my romance with old projects, and getting my time sucked up by one ridiculous tumblr.

For next year I am working on a show with some amazingly talented artists.  What’s it’s going to be about you ask? Taylor Swift.  What else is it going to be about? All Taylor Swift. I’ve consumed probably more Taylor-mania this summer than any human over 21 should.  I am finally starting to digest it all..the glitter…the cats,..the fandom…and the coveted position of millions of girls wanting to be Taylor’s bestie.

 

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My side project for this mania is a mindless Tumblr.  It’s all Taylor Swift awkwardly dancing.  It’s called Awkward Taylor Swift Dancing.  You should check it out, and you should follow it.  It’s oddly addicting, and never-ending.  It has more followers than I have personally on any other form of social media.  I will probably make it less mindless and do some writing on it soon.

 

Speaking of dabbles of writing, James Franco and Me is up and active again.  Recently my painting went meta with Franco.  I have some short writing up there now.  Longer essays on the subject matter to come over here.

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New piece: “taylorswift: Look what happened :)”

“taylorswift: Look what happened :)”. oil on panel. 18 x 18. © Elizabeth Grammaticas 2013.

More Taylor, more Instagram, and How to Meet a Movie Star circa 1948

I have officially gone down a black hole of Taylor Swift research and it looks like I am not coming out until I have a gallery show full of it, or two.  Stay tuned for more including paintings, the Experimental Taylor Swift Cover Band (featuring songs about death), Edible Taylor Swift cake, glitter guitars, a new performance artist partner in crime, and maybe James Franco.

Below is the latest studio progress on the painting front.

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More also to come…on why I am thinking so hard about Taylor Swift.   In the meantime—in case you’re not following James Franco and Me (which you should), I transcribed a fabulous article over there from a 1948 issue of Motion Picture Magazine on how to meet celebs.

(Also R.I.P Deanna Durbin)

 

Application to be Taylor Swift’s Cat-Sitter.

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Application to be Taylor Swift’s Cat-Sitter.

I am working on a show, and I am pretty excited about it.  It’s all about Taylor Swift, really.  It’s going to include things like this, applications to pet-sit her cat written by good friend Rachel Corbman and myself. We are clearly going to get the job.

taylorswift: cat lady.

taylorswift: cat lady.

‘tayorswift: cat lady.’. Oil on panel. 20 x 20 © Elizabeth Grammaticas 2013

New Instagram Painting via Zooey Deschanel’s Instagram

New Instagram Painting via Zooey Deschanel's Instagram

zooeydeschanel: Here I am with the awesome Parkey Posey” Oil on panel. 20 x 20. © Elizabeth Grammaticas 2013.

I am not a huge Zooey Deschanel fan despite that she does possess vintage outfits I admit to be envious about, and she seems decently intelligent. She tends to be a bit much for me, but her instagram is decent enough. If you enjoy celebrities with vegetable gardens, silly faces, and cool friends-its the one for you. Here is my latest painting from my instagram series.

Flashback. Jimmy Fallon and Me.

"Jimmy Fallon". 2002 or 2003. Acrylic on Canvas. Probably 3x4.

“Jimmy Fallon”. 2002 or 2003. Acrylic on Canvas. Probably 3×4.

 

New post over at James Franco and Me on the beginning of my relationship with celebrity and art.

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