Even the smallest art show is an ambitious undertaking. An art show with live models might be more so. And an art show with live models impersonating pop-cultural icons? To pull something like that off, you need great people at every level.
With Glamour in Glitter, we had them.
Back in March, having already developed the concept of the show, and the Kickstarter campaign that would help fund it, Nikki, Chadd, Claire, and I began the process of auditioning models to portray Claire’s Glitter Icons. In two casting calls (both filmed and photographed by Chadd for use in our Kickstarter video), we met some great people, and from those pools we found most of our lineup of models:
- Claudia Esparza as Carmen Miranda
- Alexandra Forney as Marilyn Monroe
- Jessica Hoyle as Bettie Page
- Anne Marie Parris as Gina Lollobrigida
- Amy Riggle as Rita Hayworth
- Rachel Salinas as Lucille Ball
- Gloria Sanchez as Liza Minnelli
- Rebecca Steele as Jayne Mansfield
- Kelly Yanta as Brigitte Bardot
With two more names, the list was complete. Nikki took on the role of Audrey Hepburn-as-Holly Golightly (and no one who knows her will be surprised to read that the role has been a lifelong dream of hers). And one of Claire’s inspirations, Andy Warhol, would be brought to life by someone the team happened to know. Which is to say, me.
Now, Warhol has been played by some rather interesting names in the past. Crispin Glover (in The Doors). Jared Harris (in I Shot Andy Warhol). Guy Pearce (in Factory Girl). One of my favorite comic actors, Bill Hader (in Men in Black 3). And David Bowie (in Basquiat). That’s a huge set of footsteps to follow in – I repeat, DAVID. BOWIE.
With that in mind, I made a point to avoid those titles (having only previously seen The Doors) until after the show, so as not to develop any preconceived notions of how Warhol should be played. Besides, I was really looking forward to the research.
I read interviews and collected quotes. I went through pictures and YouTube videos (including one of him eating a hamburger that was much more enlightening than you’d think) to try to pick up his mannerisms and voice. I even had my hair cut in an early Warhol style (my friend Jerzey Cordero took care of the shape, and Claire’s make-up artistry took care of the color). And of course I attended that amazing exhibit at the McNay Art Museum. In the end, I found a whole new respect for Warhol and what he tried to accomplish in his work. And I hoped everything I learned would be enough to embody the Warhol persona when the day finally came.
That day would be yesterday.
Having found the perfect venue in the Architecture Foundation of San Antonio‘s Center for Architecture, we (aided by Virgil Yanta and Claire’s parents) spent Friday putting everything in place, from paintings to tables and chairs to slideshows and soundtracks. When we left, the place was looking pretty darned good. All it needed were the models and guests.
The models arrived the next evening, in time to welcome an audience that surpassed even our best expectations. Nearly 150 people turned out to meet Claire, see her art (and buy it – we had several pieces sell that day!), and mingle with her icons. And we were ready – the models looked and acted their part, and impressed the guests with how well they fell into character.
Well, I hope I did ok…
It was an awesome event, and I’m proud to have been a part of it. Thanks to everyone who showed up to support us, and more than that, to support Claire. And thanks to my fellow models – you all did a fantastic job!
Of course there’s a much longer list to thank, including everyone who helped support our project through sponsorships or Kickstarter donations. And through Chadd’s usual design brillance, I can thank them all with the slideshow above, which he created for the reception.
Finally, and as always, thanks to you, the reader, for following along. If you couldn’t be there in presence, I appreciate you being there in spirit. And I hope you’ll be there for the next project.
So until that next time, from all of us, “be seeing you…”