I finally tweaked/properly photographed an older painting of mine from 2008…”Cary(‘s) Remains”.
This piece is from my college thesis work and was an exciting step that lead towards my current work. The premise of thesis was on the relationship of mortality through real life and through the lense of media, in particular..Old Hollywood. I focused on a small circle of Old Hollywood icons..Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, Cary Grant, and Marilyn Monroe (much to my chagrin at the time).
Judy Garland had a very public walk towards death. We heard about her overdoses, we saw her weight dramatically and
unheathily fluctuate, and of course saw her publicly be high and drunk continuously. Towards the end of her life, the public sadly saw Judy Garland slink towards death much like Amy Winehouse recently.
In 1974, Joan Crawford ever the control freak that she was, after seeing an unflattering photo of herself vowed to never be publicly photographed again. “If that’s how I look, then they won’t see me anymore.” She cancelled all interviews, public appearances, and rarely left her apartment. Joan Crawford died 3 years later in her apartment.
Marilyn Monroe…in short..a death the public still can’t seem to wrap itself around or resolve the tragedy, the person, the impact, and the iconography.
Now Cary Grant. There is nothing mortal, tragic, or temporal about Cary Grant. He was able to so fully control his
universal yet mysterious image and persona that any actual physical deterioration is the last thing we think of when we think of Cary Grant. There’s the classic quote of his “Everyone wants to be Cary Grant, even I want to be Cary Grant”.
Cary Grant so beautifully crafted and managed Cary Grant..that it’s as if he didn’t die..but just left this dashing debonair mold of everyone’s favorite suave, stylish, smart, and endearing man. We didn’t see him struggle or fall victim to the media. He kept his upper hand maintaining control and mystery over his personal self. We only saw his charm and timelessness. This is the premise behind “Cary(‘s) Remains.
“I pretended to be somebody until I finally became that person. Or he became me”-Cary Grant