Icons – Marlon
80cm x 107cm
Two digital portraits of a young and old Marlon Brando, finished in graffiti tags, spray paint and ink. Optional remote controlled multi-colour back-light.
Click to view the back-light in operation https://www.instagram.com/p/B03iDK1HtM1/
Marlons’s story in the words of founder Johnny Gold…
Tramp had only been open for a few months when Michael Winner, a good friend of mine, brought Marlon Brando down to check it out. He was over in London recording the synchs for The Nightcomers, a fairly forgettable horror movie that Winner was producing, and he didn’t know many people in the city. A series of poorly received films had given Brando a reputation as an ‘unbankable’ actor and his career was on the decline in the early ‘70s. Michael had brought him to the club in the hope that it would be somewhere to take his mind off his work and unwind a little; something he took to with considerable enthusiasm. He’d come straight to Tramp from the studio in the early evening, join me at my table and knock back glass after glass of Scotch, sometimes mixed with Amaretto. His good looks had started to fade but he possessed an incredible magnetism that very few stars boast; the kind of aura that changed the feel of a room when he walked in and I swear people would know he was in Tramp before they’d seen his face. He just had that kind of presence, even though his star wasn’t on the up at the time. There was certainly a sadness about him, too – he seemed to be tired of acting and the fame that came with it, but while he could appear serious and stern, he was a fun guy to hang around with and loved practical jokes. He used to tell me stories about Russell, his pet raccoon that he’d bring out at parties and of how he’d rig up fart machines and moon other actors on the set of movies while they were trying to deliver their lines. I liked spending time with him, even though I could never outlast him in the club. When I left at around 3:30am, Marlon would jump up, give me a hug goodbye and then slump back into his seat to order another Scotch. And when the lights came on, he’d join the staff for breakfast – usually a plate of pasta – before heading back to the studio to begin work again. I’m not sure if he found the time to sleep on set, but I’m certain that he didn’t see the inside of his hotel room for the entire week he was in London – it was work, Tramp, work, Tramp, work for five solid days.
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