"Mythology 11, George Clooney"
Robert Lemay, "Mythology 11, George Clooney," 2015, oil on canvas, 40” x 30”.
George Clooney may be ensconced in the arms of his new wife, Amal, a leading human rights lawyer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pursue a more fleeting encounter of the artistic kind with one of Hollywood’s most famous leading men. And yes, Robert Lemay’s oil painting of the handsome, and once oh-so-eligible superstar (sigh!) is a copy of a copy, but it’s still easy to sink deep into the actor’s captivating eyes. Part of a new series depicting magazine covers, the painting will be featured as part of Lemay’s 30th-anniversary show this June at the Douglas Udell Gallery in Edmonton.
Lemay has painted still lifes since earning a Bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Alberta in 1984. His subjects have included flowers, crushed Coke cans and the covers of books. He became interested in magazines last fall, with a star-studded roster that also features Rihanna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Moss.
The Clooney painting, copied from the December 2013 cover of W, a New York fashion magazine, is an eye-catching medley of high-contrast polka-dots, both on the actor’s customized Giorgio Armani suit and on the backdrop, a design devised by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who is known for her obsession with dots.
“It was so goofy,” says Lemay. “That’s what interested me.” Challenges abounded – the lack of colour as well as creating depth in Clooney’s body. “I wasn’t sure,” he adds, “if I could even get a likeness.”
Robert Lemay is represented by the Douglas Udell Gallery in Edmonton, Wallace Galleries in Calgary and Canada House Gallery in Banff. His work sells for $1,000 to $7,500.