Now that Taylor Swift's trial over whether she was non-consensually groped by a DJ has concluded and she has been awarded her victory (and $1 judgment), it's time to talk about the really important issues. No, not persistent unwanted sexual harassment and groping of women. No, not the difficulty and challenges faced by women asked to testify about their violations. Let's discuss the fun but trifling matter of "weird courtroom sketches."
During her trial, Swift was depicted in the courtroom sketches as a soberly-dressed blond bun-wearing woman who...looked nothing like the very famous, infinitely photographed Taylor the world has known. Fans online (where else) have derided the sketches, going so far as to declare the artist a Katy Perry stan (or just Katy Perry).
But as Jeff Kandyba, the man who was behind the drawings,
told a local Denver TV station, "A person like Taylor Swift, who is very pretty — has perfectly proportioned dimensions on the face — is actually much harder [to sketch]."
Frankly, maybe Kandyba's right. There's a wealth of evidence, from courtroom sketches to statuary to mass-merchandise dolls, of celebrities mangled in the translation from life to art. Are the world's most genetically gifted really harder to capture? PAPER's crack team of celebrity art historians conducted a brief, unscientific, and definitely non-exhaustive survey of beautiful famouses as recreated by professional artistes. Peep the evidence below, and see if you're also convinced that the most gorgeous among us generate an uncanny-valley-field for artists.
Look: Naomi Campbell is a goddess. She's one of the first supermodels. She's a perennial PAPER cover girl. She's a queen who slays basically every look she puts on. So, all we ask is, what were you thinking Musee Grevin? Our girl doesn't deserve this.
Earlier this year,
Portugal honored its favorite son, arguably the greatest soccer player alive (don't @ me, Argentina), by naming an airport in the Madeira Islands after him and gracing it with a bronze bust of his head. A lovely gesture, except the bust itself twists Ronaldo's improbably symmetrical, handsome face into a rictus of horror. This is what Lionel Messi see's chasing him in his nightmares. This is the ghost that haunts Gareth Bale's house. Artist Emanuel Santos' explanation for the gap between reality and art? "It is impossible to please the Greeks and Trojans. Neither did Jesus please everyone." Fair enough.
And Also This Statue of Cristiano Ronaldo
Okay, maybe we just stop making sculptures of Cristiano Ronaldo? This bronze Frankenstein resides in his hometown of Funchal, Portugal.
Court room sketches really deserve a category of their own, even a whole wing in the Bad Celebrity Art Museum. This classic of the genre comes from Pats quarterback Tom Brady's trial over whether he attempted to cheat his way into winning football games. Artist Jane Rosenberg turned the paragon of bland handsome American sportsman/model-husband/
fruit-avoider into instant meme fodder.
There's no one artist to blame for this offense to Emma Watson, merely the plastic-molding elves of Mattel Inc. However, the reveal of Watson's official Belle Barbie doll creation caused vapors online, with most of the Internet agreeing that the
Beauty and the Beast toy actually most resembled...Justin Bieber? (Artist Mark Jonathan went in after the fact and gave the doll a make-over that brought it closer in line to Emma Watson's face.)
Naomi Campbell's wax doppelganger was truly terrifying, but there might be no celebrity more hard-done-by in the wax replica world than one Beyoncé Knowles. Madame Tussaud's attempt to memorialize Queen B was immediately dragged to hell for whitewashing (and poor fashion choices). They
hurried to fix the issue--officially deemed a "lighting" problem. But this does not solve the broader problem.
Maybe the OG celebrity, Jesus has been recreated and represented thousands upon thousands of times, from his ugly baby stage to his "looks like a Williamsburg bartender" stage. But the most recent famous attempt to show the true, handsome face of the Son of God ended in disaster. In little Borja, Spain, Cecilia Gimenez attempted to restore a fresco by 19th-century painter Elias Garcia Martinez. It did not go well. When the botched restoration was finally discovered, it instantly became an internet sensation, turning into memes like loaves into fishes. Despite much handwringing about the painting, it's actually turned out to be a boon to tourism, bringing in over 150,000 visitors at last count.