When I first began making the Liz Taylor Series of paintings in 1982 as a graduate student at CalArts, the world was quite a different place. People loved stars then, of course (they always have and always will); but the desire to become one, for most, remained mostly in the realm of fantasy and projection. There was no celebrity culture per se – no Real World full of American Idols, Apprentices, Big Brothers, Survivors, Bachelors, Extreme Makeovers, Fear Factors, Rich Girls, Trailer Park Boys, Art Stars, or Iconoclasts – that according to the commercials will “change the way you see celebrity.” There were no websites like YouTube.com or MySpace.com where a subscriber can create his own personal fan club, or magazines like ME in which “ordinary people” are rendered as celebrities, or...

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