For some people, fame is their reason for being. When interviewed, Stella Vine freely admits to her rampant ambitions, wishing for pre-eminence across a number of professions, from stripping, to acting, to painting. These days, though, being an art world fame-whore is no crime; in fact, what better starting point for an artist whose most successful iterations throw a lurid light on our media-manipulated obsession with celebrity? Discovered by Charles Saatchi back in 2003, Vine’s been both vilified and admired by critics, and, despite some headline-grabbing sales, has had a rocky road to success. She started the Rosy Wilde gallery in London’s East End, and achieved tabloid notoriety with her naïve renditions of Princess Diana and Kate Moss, painted in garish colours and broad brush-strokes, complete with captions proclaiming veiled secrets, loud and direct. Vine went bankrupt, went travelling, and has come back to prominence via a number of group shows in the US and Europe, highlighting new art from London. Now, she’s the subject of a solo exhibition at Modern Art Oxford, and an accompanying monograph designed by Fuel. And while much of her work continues to investigate fame and debunk celebrity, other paintings are less cruel and just plain funny.
Stella Vine: Paintings runs from 17 July to 23 September at Modern Art Oxford, 30 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP