Jamie Adams: ‘Niagara Holiday’

'Niagara Holiday' by Jamie Adams
‘Niagara Holiday’ by Jamie Adams (2013)

Artist Jamie Adams has painted a series of black-and-white works inspired by tragic actress Jean ‘Jeannie’ Seberg, star of Saint Joan and A Bout de Souffle. After becoming involved in the Civil Rights movement during the 1960s, Jean was hounded by the FBI and eventually committed suicide.

Adams has also created another series in colour, transporting Jean to Niagara where she meets many characters, including Marilyn. While Marilyn’s presence is no doubt inspired by her 1953 movie, Niagara, her appearance is more reminiscent of Roslyn in The Misfits.

Both series are currently on display at the Philip Slein Gallery in St Louis, Missouri (until June 7.) Malcom Gay has reviewed ‘Jamie Adams: Recent Work’ for the River Front Times:

“In Niagara Holiday, for instance, Adams again wrestles with the notion of idealized femininity, painting an incandescent Marilyn Monroe in a bedroom scene overlooking Niagara Falls. A grouping of semi-clad figures romps on a bed to her right, but Monroe, oblivious to it all, dominates the canvas — her smile electric, her outsized breasts falling at odd angles, her masculine hand at her chest.

It’s as though there are two paintings here: one a dreamy bedroom scene, the other a subversive take on an oft-dissected cultural icon…”

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