“I will make you a star” is a series of works by Hunter & Gatti that reflects their desire to bring together photography and painting in one format. The artistic duo was inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat’s neo-expressionist paintings, and more particularly by a specific incident in his career: the moment that art dealer Rene Ricard spotted Basquiat’s work at a party and promised him that he would make him a star. When Basquiat’s work started to become famous, the art world was living a very special moment. New York’s art scene was overflowing with charismatic people and have a strong public persona was a major influence in the way one’s work was being perceived. Despite the fact that Basquiat’s art was undoubtedly unique, his image, his aesthetic and his personality contributed the most to his success. Hunter & Gatti wanted to pay tribute to Basquiat’s legacy by merging the celebrity portraits they have made in the past for fashion editorials and campaigns, featuring the most iconoclastic members of today’s scene with Basquiat’s inspired paintings that transcend the limits of the art world and form part of our collective unconsciousness – just like the famous faces of their photos. Their idea was to create a series of original hybrids that explore the limits of popular culture.


We may recognize the identity of the celebrities that are hidden behind the layers of painting, but at the same time we are left perplexed by the new faces that have emerged and this contradiction is the essence of “I will make you a star”.

Inspired by the power traditionally attributed to image, Hunter & Gatti wanted their works to perpetuate the wildfire velocity of fashion and the fast cycle of this industry which voraciously consumes any of the images they have created. In response, H&G started re-working celebrity portraits: taking recognizable faces that idealize the work, to give them a new origin, exploring concepts in perception, change and identity, and playing with the tension between the material and the photography.
Change is the only way to keep their pictures alive. All is flux, nothing stays still.



If you continue using this website, we assume that you accept the use of first and third party cookies including the collection of access data, web analytics, social connection and behavioural advertising. More information & how to change your configuration: please read our cookies policy.