Kate Moss
Kate Moss
Camus
Camus
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
Paul Newman
Paul Newman

On the set of Exodus, 1960. I liked Paul Newman better as a bad boy, and I probably had the character of Eddie from The Hustler in mind while I painted, more than Ari Ben Canaan. So the Star of David in the original photo didn't fit. Just as I began this painting, Paul Newman died, and his photo was everywhere, with that blue of his eyes. When I worked from the black and white it was still seared into my memory. I used Cobalt Blue.

Liz Taylor
Liz Taylor

On the set of Giant, 1956

Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
The Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama
Mr Cool, Steve McQueen
Mr Cool, Steve McQueen

I'd seen his early classics, but was never a huge fan of Steve McQueen. I loved his look in this photo, though. In the original, there's a sign behind him that says "Closed set. No admittance" and even though it didn't make it onto the canvas, I felt like that summed up a lot of what made Steve so cool and unobtainable. When I looked him up, I found out that he'd died of Mesothelioma at 50. While I painted, I had his life story in mind.

Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger
Gina Lollobrigida
Gina Lollobrigida
Giacometti
Giacometti

"Basically, I no longer work for anything but the sensation I have while working."

Al Pacino
Al Pacino
Che Gevara
Che Gevara
James Dean
James Dean
The Fab Four
The Fab Four

Real cool in the pool

Gatsby: Robert Redford & Mia Farrow
Gatsby: Robert Redford & Mia Farrow

Robert Redford was not their first choice for Gatsby, and Mia Farrow was not the first choice for Daisy. The director had bought the rights to the movie so his wife Ali McGraw could play the lead. Then she left him for Steve McQueen. I had just reread Gatsby when I chose this movie shot out of a book on Movies of the Seventies.

Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
Suzi Quatro
Suzi Quatro
Gary Cooper
Gary Cooper
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
Norah Jones
Norah Jones
Sarah Bernhart
Sarah Bernhart
Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin

From a photo shoot for the cover of Rolling Stone

John Lennon
John Lennon
Bridgitte Bardot
Bridgitte Bardot

Inspired by the photo from Philippe Halsman’s Jump Book.

INGRID BERGMAN in Stromboli, 1949
INGRID BERGMAN in Stromboli, 1949

This painting is based on the photo by LIFE photographer Gordon Parks. Bergman is filming Stromboli in Italy, and having an affair with the director, Rossellini. They are both married. For years, she can't get a job in the US, and works in Europe.

AUDREY HEBBURN in Sabrina, 1954
AUDREY HEBBURN in Sabrina, 1954

Like Ingrid Bergman, she got to star with Humphrey Boghart and Cary Grant. Apparently Bergman suggested her for the lead role in The Nun’s Story after she read the script and realized that she was too old.

Sammy Davis Jnr.
Sammy Davis Jnr.
Madonna
Madonna

She looks as if she's channelling Marilyn. At first I was confused, it could have easily been either one of them. Except she's wearing leather, that's got to be Madonna. And her blonde hair is streaked through with brown, she doesn't hide the fact she's not a natural. Plus, she's in control. No one's messing with her. She even tells the photographer what to do.

PAPARAZZI Dustin Hoffman, 1978
PAPARAZZI Dustin Hoffman, 1978

Marlon Brando hit him, Jackie Onasis sued him, but Dustin Hoffman always smiled when Ron Gallela took his photograph. The original paparazzi, he always liked taking Dustin Hoffman's photo – this one's from a celebrity tennis match. With this painting, I chose the photographer before the subject, after watching a documentary called "Smash his camera."

HUMPHREY BOGART
HUMPHREY BOGART
Joan Crawford & Douglas Banks Jnr.
Joan Crawford & Douglas Banks Jnr.
1/1