For her first show at Galeria Pelaires, Oksana Zmiyevska created a portrait series of Leonardo DiCaprio exhibited paired or grouped with self-portraits. Rendered in small format, against the plain background, the protagonists appear cut out of context, isolated, and draw thus all the attention to the relationship between them. They produce the space of intense communication where a young female artist engages ‘the most wanted’ pop icon in a dialogue.
Leonardo DiCaprio is much more than a famous actor and producer, for he has been converted into a symbol of male beauty and advanced stage talent. His image epitomizes the contemporary Hollywood industry and circulates on the abundant merchandise – it embodies the idea of sweet lover, mature elegance, and splendid success. A wonderfully marketed myth of a perfect man that is devoured by the audience craving ‘a miracle’. This commodification of a personality has been in depth researched by Andy Warhol; in his portraits, pop culture figures are represented as if they were powerful brands rather than individuals. Reproduced in multiple copies and cycles of repetition, they are manifested to perform an essential part of the consumption society.