Art Archive: Danny and Sandy
Danny and Sandy
Photo collage diptych
Last week Vogue Magazine payed tribute to the 40th anniversary of Grease by publishing an article about on-screen makeovers called, "14 Iconic Movie Makeovers That Make the Case for a Bold New Look" including some of my fave Hollywood films such as Working Girl, Pretty Woman, and Marie Antionette.
John Travolta or Andy Hsu? Andy Hsu, of course! My diptych is about real love, real drama, and reconciliation—like in Grease.
In 2001 (4 days before 9/11) Andy and I came to London together to do the MA program, basically a 9-month art bootcamp psycho drama á la Goldsmiths. The cultural transition, competitive art school atmosphere, home sick-ness, and anti-American sentiment were pretty disorientating. Andy and I separated.
That time was riddled with paranoia, backstabbing, gossip, silent treatments,
jealousy, sleep-overs, cigarettes... people took sides, people switched sides. It was a high-school movie narrative with a happy ending.
After our final graduate show, Andy and I took a long drive up to Scotland to become reacquainted with each other. It was electrifying—just like in Danny and Sandy's romance in Grease—so I made this double portrait to commemorate this time in our lives. The landscape photo in the backdrop of the diptych is from our trip to Scotland. We drove as far away from art school as we could get and found a dot on a line in the Highlands called Crask. There was literally one building in Crask, which is where we stayed. Here's some more pictures from our trip to Scotland:
The double portrait overlooking the Scottish landscape in Danny and Sandy was inspired by the famous Renaissance painting by Piero della Francesca, The Duke and Duchess of Urbino (c. 1465), currently on display at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. I really like how the double portrait shows the couple positioned as if they are at the top of a tower, overlooking their domain.
Danny and Sandy was photographed by Mandy Lee Jandrell, hair & makeup by Jen Fechter. It showed at VTO gallery in London in 2002, curated by Matt O'Dell, and in 2003 at the LA International Biennial Art Invitational, in Los Angeles, curated by Saskia Wilson-Brown.