Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mao vs. Monroe

No, I am not talking about the name of the latest reality TV show. Thankfully, producers are going to have to wait for science to deliver on that one. I am referring instead to the battle that took place yesterday. The stage: Christie's, New York- where some of Andy Warhol's most famous paintings went under the hammer on what turned out to be a record breaking day. A clash of the titans if you are one to hanker for the days when icons were real icons and not something you clicked on to check your mail.

But the auction results were disappointing for those of us who hoped an image that is the embodiment of unparalleled glamour would be valued higher than a picture of a tyrant who came top of the twentieth century mass-murder league tables. Mao, $17.3m – Marilyn Monroe a paltry $16.3m. Surely not? But, then again China is the future. Could the Christie's sale be a proxy for the realigned world pecking order? A symbol of the quickly fading value in all things Western?

One must wonder how values are assigned. But still the demonic despot was given a good run for his money. But if Marilyn is devalued, who will be this generation's female glamour icon? Madonna? Please age gracefully, Madge . Kate Moss? Perhaps, but a marriage to Doherty could polish her off. Posh 'stick insect' Spice? Sorry I didn't mean to insult us. Scarlet Jo? Certainly not with her talent for box office bombs.

Such future defining conundrums combined with today’s grey skies, has left me in need of total escapism. Fortunately, that comes in no better form than the cult-classic Little Shop of Horrors which is previewing from tomorrow at Southwark's Menier Chocolate Factory. Early signs are promising and, done well, there is not much better fun to be had on stage. And in this well-loved venue with just 150 seats, act now and let the reviewers get it wrong later.

Menier Chocolate Factory
020 7907 7060


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazes me how much Warhol fetches.
Pop art is so over avlued in my opinion. How did they get to $17 mil for the picture instead of say 17,000?

8:17 pm  
Anonymous honkman said...

But would they have paid that much for Stalin or Hitler?

8:43 pm  
Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I only wish I had seen "Little Shop Of Horrors" on a small stage. It simply doesn't work on a large one.

As for Mao, I've seen the real deal under glass in Tianenmen Square à la Lenin so no need for me to bother with Warhol. But I dare say that I like what Andy's done with Mao's lips...He's turned the dictator into a glamour puss.

12:26 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Madonna? Kate Moss? the blog

2:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure we will get a modern comparison.
Marilyn defined an epoc. Shaped the time.

To me $16 for a timeless picture of her seems cheap.
Mao? Dunno...

8:22 am  
Anonymous Delia said...

Is this just not another of Christie;s price fixing scams?

8:30 am  
Anonymous Ella said...

Surely Slicky you would vote for Kate Moss :-)

8:39 am  
Anonymous HeartyBowl said...

This is unbelievable. It's hard to imagine that a reputable art collector would pay 17.4 million dollars for a portrait of Hitler. Mao was one of the most evil men of the twentieth century...killing tens of millions of innocent Chinese. For some reason, that I have yet to comprehend, leftist mass murderers are always viewed as fashionable by the Chic Mau Tau Tauing crowd. For instance, the famous portrait of Che Guevara. I guess it's okay to be a mass murder, just as long as your politics jive.

8:48 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

like the blog
imnteresting topics as usual

8:50 am  
Anonymous Claire said...

the style icon?well her Majesty of course

after The Queen film Barbour jackets went off the rails faster than an auction stand in the US

now kate moss that is trend setting

8:51 am  
Blogger Shep said...

Scarlett Scarlett one true love...

Sorry, miles away. Love the Warhol. Got to see a small stage version Of Little Shop Of Horrors in Oxford, great job - small cast doubling up on characters and, most importantly, awesome voice on the singing plant.

11:51 am  
Anonymous hadye said...

It must be the new influx of HOng Kong cash

oh Madonna gets my vote any day

3:38 pm  

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