The Propeller Group explores the public memorialization of revolutionary political leadership post Cold War in the context of hyper-capitalism as it hinges on the verge of the cult of personality and celebrityhood.
With popular media and entertainment becoming as globalized and as influential as government, the celebrity figure, idolized worldwide, have become cults of personalities in their own rite. They maintain celebrity-hood by constantly re-defining themselves in order to survive different trends in popular entertainment. The Propeller Group applies this strategy to the remaining relics of the revolutionary leader whose image and legacy is now being buried away and left for decay.
The Propeller Group has created a series of paintings that explore the paradoxical and sometimes absurd relationship between power, politics, popularity and the public persona – suggesting an equally preposterous notion that the Hollywood biopic could be a more effective, if not the only, strategy of political resurgence for abandoned historical figures than monuments set in bronze or granite could ever be.
Inaugurating an ongoing series of paintings, The Propeller Group have commissioned hand-embroidered interventions on original painted portraits of Vladimir Lenin that once hung in regional Communist Party headquarters across the U.S.S.R. With the addition of various hairstyles spanning Leonardo DiCaprio’s filmography, the revolutionary leader’s equipped for contemporary superstardom. Drawing from Internet conspiracies about DiCaprio’s being a lost relative of Lenin, the series addresses the political ramifications of representation and celebrity idolatry. As culture blogs report that DiCaprio will play Lenin in a rumored film, The Propeller Group will continue the series throughout the actor’s career until the two figures are united in a Hollywood historical drama, collapsing history and identity. This last painting in the series will be entitled: Lenin as Lenin in Lenin.
Lenin as Jack Dawson in Titanic
80 x 154 cm. Oil and embroidery on canvas
Lenin as Frank Wheeler in Revolutionary Road
63 x 80 cm. Oil and embroidery on canvas
Lenin as Cobb in Inception
84 x 104 cm. Oil and embroidery on canvas
Lenin as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby
70.5 x 94 cm. Oil and embroidery on canvas
Lenin as Calvin Candie in Django Unchained
72 x 92.5 cm. Oil and embroidery on canvas
Lenin as J. Edgar Hoover in J. Edgar
68 x 94 cm. Oil and embroidery on canvas