Living sculpures of 
20th century icons

The Icons collection consists of 24 depictions of 20th century historical figures, past and present, from Sigmund Freud to Iggy Pop.  Created by artist Lou Rie, each avatar is a living sculpture, a handmade portrait modeled on top of a real person, who “inhabits” the subject, adding a mysterious internal presence.  The artist’s goal is to capture the essence of the subject.

 

The result is 3 series of 8 portraits by turns beautiful and grotesque, humorous and frightening.  They can bring to mind the satirical caricatures of German Expressionists like George Grosz and Otto Dix.  In our selfie culture, we see mostly what people and the media want to project, but these portraits give us some insight into their true identify.  Credits

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Edition

Chewbacca

100

Description

A Star Wars character, he was a legendary Wookie warrior and Han Solo’s longtime co-pilot. During the reign of the Galactic Empire, he was one of the core group of rebels who restored freedom to the galaxy. Known for a short temper, deadeye shooting with a laser crossbow and unfaltering loyalty to his friends.

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Michael Jackson

100

Description

A spectacular soul singer and dancing machine whose talent was equaled by self-destructiveness. His bizarre choices, including skin-bleaching and rhinoplasty, never detracted from his popularity. Thriller is the highest-selling LP ever, but Off the Wall is his masterpiece. He died of a drug overdose in 2009.

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Keith Haring

100

Description

A star of the 1980s New York City art world, Haring was a graffiti artist whose simple lines and messages about social justice reached global audiences, whether on T-shirts or in museums. Influenced by Cristo and Andy Warhol, he also made huge public murals. He died of AIDS in 1990 at the age of 31.

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Sigmund Freud

100

Description

The founding father of psychoanalysis, a method for treating mental illness that focused on unconscious conflicts. He revolutionized human psychology and helped start modern talk therapy. Many of his theories, like Oedipus complex and penis envy, are now seen as unscientific, but his influence still pervades our culture.

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Keith Richards

100

Description

The songwriter and lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones, writing many of the band’s classics, including Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Satisfaction, Ruby Tuesday and Brown Sugar. He is also famous for his drug-fueled revelry. In one Daily News article headlined, I Snorted My Dad, he said he had mixed his father’s ashes with cocaine.

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Alfred Hitchcock

100

Description

He’s one of the all-time greats who made iconic films like Psycho and Vertigo, but a closer look at his genius shows a dark side. Hitchcock had little respect for actors, calling them “stupid children” who “should be treated like cattle.” And his attitude towards his leading ladies, all icy blondes, is a feast for Freudian analysts.

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Kim Kardashian

100

Description

Kim doesn’t sing, dance, or act, but has turned herself into one of the most famous personalities on Earth. Between her family reality-TV series, lifestyle empire and social-media sponsorships (she has 215 million Instagram followers), the New York Times once described her as the “Kardashian industrial complex.”

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Iggy Pop

100

Description

Iggy has been the epitome of rock & roll terror. Known as the Godfather of Punk with his band the Stooges, he invented the stage dive and put the “X” in excess. His many collaborators include David Bowie, who produced two Iggy albums, The Idiot and Lust for Life. He’s now living clean and still making music.

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Tintin

100

Description

The main character of one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century, Tintin is a boy reporter who travels the world uncovering plots and righting wrongs. Created in 1929 by Belgian artist Hergé, he has a forelock that looks like a mini-Mohawk and always has his dog, Snowy, by his side.

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Donald Trump

100

Description

As a boy growing up in Queens, Trump was swaggering and bombastic. One classmate said, “He had a reputation for saying anything that came into his head.” Another remembered him as “a loudmouth bully.” Donald Trump left all that behind as a grown-up, becoming the 45th president of the United States.

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Marilyn Manson

100

Description

With album titles like “Antichrist Superstar” and “We Are Chaos,” Manson has been a best-selling goth rock star for 30 years. In late 2021 his stage character turned genuinely sinister as more than a dozen women came forward accusing him of psychological or sexual abuse. Born Brian Warner in Ohio, he has sold over 50 million albums worldwide.

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Hunter S. Thompson

100

Description

He started what he called “gonzo journalism,” a subjective style with first-person narrative, including personal experiences that become a part of the story. In books like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, he became a counterculture hero. He committed suicide at the age of 67.

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Andy Warhol

100

Description

A prolific artist who joined avant-garde and commercial sensibilities to help create the 1960s Pop art movement. But Warhol’s greatest creation may have been himself; an icon and a celebrity by making art about the culture around him. It was all about surfaces, much as modern life is about surface over substance.

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Amy Winehouse

100

Description

British retro-soul singer with a brassy voice whose short but remarkable musical career was often overshadowed by her drug and alcohol abuse. She won five Grammys at 23 with the LP Back to Black, which merged 60s pop, soul, jazz and blues.  She died of alcohol poisoning at 27.

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David Lynch

100

Description

His Twin Peaks, a 1990 TV series, changed the medium forever. He followed it with The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart, to name a few. Sound design is critical to Lynch. “I think that wind sound came from northern Scotland,” he said. “It’s a wind that just feels so good to me.”

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Kanye West

100

Description

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016, the best-selling rapper-turned-fashion designer has made all sorts of news. He embraced Trump in 2020 and then joined the race himself, winning some 60,000 votes. His new album, Donda, has won mixed reviews, but his clothing label, Yeezy, is a hit.

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Rambo

100

Description

Sylvester Stallone's Rambo made his screen debut in 1982 in First Blood.  There was real pathos in the first one, when Rambo was the alienated Vietnam vet struggling with PTSD who is provoked into kicking ass.  Rambo’s oversized guns, muscles and body count become a parody of masculinity.

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Karl Lagerfeld

100

Description

Creative director of Chanel since 1983 and Fendi since 1965, and founder of his own line, he was the most prolific designer of the 20th and 21st centuries, creating around 14 collections a year until he died in 2019. Chanel became a luxury behemoth. His signature style mixed “high fashion and high camp.”

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Jean-Michel Basquiat

100

Description

His career lasted only nine years, but he is one of the most significant painters of the 20th century and a cultural icon. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he explored his own African, Latino and American heritage through a unique visual vocabulary of signs, symbols and figures. He died at 27 of a heroin overdose in 1988.

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Edition

Ziggy Stardust

100

Description

The androgynous alien rock star created by David Bowie who is sent to Earth as a messenger to save it from destruction. The story is told in the 1972 album Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, and in concerts featuring his unique brand of glitter rock. Ziggy’s last concert took place in 1973.

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Edition

Mark Zuckerberg

100

Description

As Facebook, now known as Meta, faces censure for prioritizing profit over its social impact, its CEO is peddling the metaverse, where you’re not just viewing content, you’re in it!  The Zuck says you’ll be able to dance “with other people as if you were in other places” and be “engaged more naturally.”

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Justin Bieber

100

Description

From small-town Canada, he made teenaged girls swoon at 15 singing on You Tube, then Usher signed him as a protege to Island Def Jam. In 2009, his debut album was a big hit. Teen pop stardom made him famous, but finding his niche at 27 has been rocky—teen celebrity is a tough act to follow as an adult.

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Woody Allen

100

Description

A popular stand-up comedian, his early films revolutionized comedy, such as Take the Money and Run. He’s made 49 films, close to one a year since the mid-1960s. Persistent allegations of sexual abuse by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, have cast a pall over his career, and many have declined to work with him.

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Edition

Darth Vader

100

Description

Does the suit make the man or the man make the suit? For the feared Sith Lord of Star Wars fame, it was definitely the former. His great powers, along with his air-compressor breathing and imposing baritone, were all thanks to the suit.  Beneath it was a horribly mutilated man with charred skin and lungs.

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