In the final week of our current exhibition, Federico Beltran Masses: Under the Stars, we question what it takes to be an artistic superstar. Drawing its name from the starlit nocturnal settings in which Beltran Masses placed many of his subjects, from the glitter of Hollywood that was ever-present in his work, and from Beltran Masses’ own superstardom, Under the Stars explores the impact of celebrity on the oeuvre of the Cuban-born Spanish artist.
Does superstardom come as a result of hard work or are we pre-destined for superstardom from birth? Pop Icons such as Andy Warhol and Elvis Presley combined their art with self promotion while contemporary artists such as Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons have been subject to a kind of branding that has become emblematic of the twenty-first century artistic experience. Beltran, however, was a celebrity in his own right and was widely recognized in the 1920s and 1930s for his provocative masterpieces stylized with his characteristic ‘Beltran Blue’. Indeed his exhibitions were visited by Kings and Princes, Hollywood film stars and a public eager to discover his sensual even highly erotic portraits of women. Isolated in Paris during the advent of the Second World War with no dealer relationship, Beltran’s celebrity faded.
Federico Beltran Masses: Under the stars seeks to revive the decadent oeuvre of this unique figurative artist. A collection of Beltran’s masterpieces, including Las Ibericas and Tropical, will be on display in our Dover Street gallery for one more week. With a number of Beltran’s exhibited works already sold to private collectors across the world, Stair Sainty Gallery is delighted to reintroduce Beltran Masses and his psychological portraits to the international art market.