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Essay and Interview by Vincent Katz
Art / Celebrities
10 x 15.25 inches
192 pages with 3 multipage gatefolds
98 four-color reproductions
Life is Paradise gathers for the first time a mostly private collection of contemporary artist Francesco Clemente’s rarely seen oil, pastel, and watercolor portraits of personalities from the worlds of pop culture, high society, and art. The revealing depictions of friends and acquaintances who have passed through Clemente’s studio include the likes of Lauren Hutton, Henry Geldzhaler, Toni Morrison, Robert DeNiro, Fran Lebowitz, Robert Mapplethorpe, Gus Van Sant, Edit De Ak, Bryan Ferry, John Ashbery, Andy Warhol, Fab 5 Freddy, Enzo Cucchi, Christy Turlington, Rene Ricard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Allen Ginsberg, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Michael McClure, Minnie Driver, William Burroughs, and many, many more.
These startling portraits of artists, writers, film actors, fashion industry icons, business and society headliners, done by Clemente for amusement or for special commissions, offer a fascinating insight into another side of Francesco Clemente: the internationally famous artist who for years has been a fixture on the New York scene.
Clemente is widely considered one of the foremost contemporary artists in America, and his work is celebrated in art collections all over the world. The portraits in Life is Paradise span Clemente’s entire career as a visual artist, and showcase his versatility with various mediums. This collection gathers together and examines for the first time in detail a little known element of Clemente’s oeuvre.
The publication of Life Is Paradise coincided with the opening of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s landmark retrospective, Clemente, in 2000.