Friday, January 8, 2010

"Julia" by P, San Jose, marker on white paper bag from trash

Celebrity portraits are not exactly high art. In fact, they’re more like the Fiero of the sportscar world – sure they’re made of metal but you look like a grade-A knob behind the wheel of one. And so it was with great trepidation that I agreed to review San Jose surrealist P’s take on silver screen starlet, Julia Roberts. There’s no mistaking the cartoonish wax lips, but aside from that, P checks the photorealism at the door and opts to metaphorically capture this Pretty Woman. Two bright blue eyes – cute as buttons yet empty as cupless saucers dangle like ornaments below two clearly overreaching eyebrows. A shock of hair that looks as plastic and replaceable as a Potato Head doll asks the viewer, “who do you want Julia to be today?” Pretty Woman or Erin Brokovich are the only plausible choices – neither of which sparks the interest of this reviewer.

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