For an especially bizarre welcome to the new holiday season, pick up the December issue of Vogue magazine. In a 23-page feature styled by Vogue veteran Grace Coddington and photographed by Annie Leibovitz, several top artists who should have known better participated in a fluffy promotional fashion shoot for the young collagen-lipped movie star Keira Knightley. In the photo spread, Knightley is cast as an unlikely blonde Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, while Alba and Francesco Clemente play Dorothy’s Auntie Em and Uncle Henry, Kara Walker is Glinda the Good Witch, Brice Marden perches on a cross (!) in a cornfield as the Scarecrow, John Currin dresses up as the Tin Man and the notoriously reticent Jasper Johns plays the Cowardly Lion (!!). The cast is rounded out with Chuck Close as the Wizard (complete with his early black-and-white self-portrait with cigarette), Kiki Smith as the Wicked Witch (!!!) and Jeff Koons in brown makeup and batwings as the witch’s wicked monkey.

Vogue’s art fest continues with a line-up of remarkably anti-erotic nudes by Vanessa Beecroft, Jeff Koons, Elizabeth Peyton, Richard Prince, Julian Schnabel and Cindy Sherman, works that also go on view at Mitchell-Innes & Nash on West 26th Street in Chelsea, Nov. 18-Dec. 23, 2005. For us, the real art in the magazine is the 12-page spread of fashion advertisements from Wal-Mart.

- bill 11-29-2005 6:12 pm

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