SUPERNOVA SERIES: “A SMART GIRL LEAVES BEFORE SHE IS LEFT… POLISH SINGER AND ACTRESS BARBARA KURDEJ-SZATAN AS MARILYN MONROE”

4 October 2015

My 2014 was quite a bumpy ride. Both health-wise and family-wise that lead me to make drastic changes also in my personal life. I decided to disappear in New York for 9 months. I signed up for a course for independent artists and focused on art. It was a period of gathering new experiences and skills, also the social ones. It is quite interesting to find yourself all alone among tons of people, and as normal this feeling is for me in my everyday life I passively experienced it through my close ones with continuous astonishment. This time and adventures resulted in the beginning of my SUPERNOVA series.

SUPERNOVA are portraits depicting American legends, stars that changed various aspects of American culture forever, but faded too early. “Supernova” is showing them alive and also in the moment of their quite unique deaths. I’m exploring the parts of their often complex personalities that fascinate me. Here are my bows to Marilyn Monroe…

At the turn of 2013 & 2014 I spend 9 months in New York City as a participant of the Studio Art Intensive course for independent artists in National Academy School. New York Inspires always and everyone and I got taken away by Marilyn Monroe’s legend. I always loved her movies, songs, bah…who am I kidding…? Basically everything connected to 50’s is close to my heart. But Marilyn has something more than one can describe. I bet that the stories about her undeniable beauty and the mystery around her premature death caught attention of at least 70% of you. I surely include myself in this statistics.

Everybody loves Marilyn and we have countless number of Marilyn’s portraits. Most of them are Warhol’s copies though…or variations of his compositions. I was kind of tired of seeing Marilyn as only the artificial surface, the beauty, the sexy blond bomb shell. It somehow evokes a lot of emptiness for me. I didn’t want to make another pretty Marilyn painting. I read a bit about Ms Monroe and I wanted to create a painted story of a lonely and misunderstood soul that reminds us all of Marilyn but is not her 100%. The world doesn’t need another trained smile. Anyway, at least I didn’t need to.
Since I wanted to approach the subject differently, I created a tale of a loneliness. I asked a Polish actress and singer Barbara Kurdej-Szatan to be my Marilyn. I gathered a group of professionals: the hair guru Kajetan Góra, awesome makeup artist Anna Wygoda and a wonderful Swedish photographer Georg van der Weyden, and we turned Barbara into my Marilyn.

In late June 1962 Bert Stern took photos of MM. The shoot was for Vogue. Just after the official shoot an assistant of absolutely no importance Erik Nygard, took the most famous photo ever. Nude. No one knew that those will be the very last photos of this famous sex bomb.
On the 5th of July 1962 MM was found dead at her home in L.A.
Last photo shoot was in white bed sheets.
She died in bed… Barbiturate poisoning. Face down. Phone in her hand.
Bert Stern, Erik Nygard & now ROZA.

My “Marilyn” is in her sheets. The hand is empty but the released grasp suggests the possible phone presence. She is against us but the face is somehow squashed… the lips are crooked. Hand sewn Swarovski crystals fall out of the mouth as if the Barbiturates could. We are looking at Marilyn while she is lying flat on the mattress. The difference is that the mattress is transparent and we see her through it, staring at us with sexy eyes hidden nearly all the way by already heavy eyelids. Just a few seconds before the last breath… Do you hear her cry for help? It is so easy to overlook someone’s struggle.

A few moths later I lost my beloved Grandmother to cancer and just one and a half moth later my God Mother due to the pharmaceutical drug mix and overdose. Tragedies like that change the world around you and your closest ones forever and you start to see the world differently. Now, it is only up to you if you allow yourself to crack even more or you become a phoenix.

The world is a stage they say. Let’s not create a sad and empty one…
Let’s not burn too early like the supernovas…