Russell Marshall: 40 – A Kate Moss Retrospective at Imitate Modern
Kate Moss has partied and posed her way to fashion icon status. She has been the subject of much art before, notably Lucian Freud’s nude painting of a pregnant Kate, and Marc Quinn’s life-size bronze sculpture of her body. As she turns 40 today, this intimate retrospective by former journalist Russell Marshall strikes a perfect balance of her hedonistic past and her quiet latter years.
Up-and-coming artist Marshall has chosen ten less obvious images of Moss for the show. Evidently staying true to his journalistic background, his choice presents a narrative of her life while drawing in the viewer with what sells: her face.
His preference for face-on shots of Moss creates an almost eerie atmosphere. While this might suggest the iconic status of the Croydon-born model, it uncannily proves that her face is a canvas, each shot provoking a remarkably different response. The retrospective’s standout piece is Kate 6 – Circa 1999; a flamboyant image in red with Moss posing in a Union Jack jumper and high heels. It encapsulates everything about the model; daring, British and incredibly photogenic.
The space – a low key, stylish gallery off Marylebone High Street – is the perfect setting to commentate on the notoriously private icon, and favours the lack of grandiosity that Moss exudes. The prints, however, are bold, brassy and commercial. With some pieces going for as a little £285, it exposes the mass appeal of Kate Moss.
The retrospective is primarily for fans of the supermodel and, in turn, Moss places a watchful eye over her devoted followers. However, in times of mass celebrity worship, the curation cleverly plays with the thin boundaries of admiration and voyeurism.This exhibition is a chance to celebrate a style icon, and perhaps invest in an historical piece of British Pop Art.
Photos: Alejo Garcia
Russell Marshall: 40 – A Kate Moss Retrospective is at Imitate Modern from 17th January until 15th February 2014. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.