Portraits of Faces You Recognize And Love For Your Collection

May 30, 2019

Throughout the centuries, artists were interested in representing distinct individuals in order to mark their place in the society and celebrate their lives and work. However, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that portraits of celebrities became cherished by the people. The rise of popular culture brought the increasing interest in the lives of famous people, especially the Hollywood actors in the interwar period, and then the musicians, artists, writers, and others during the 1950s onwards.

The contemporary moment is saturated with celebrity culture, so it is not strange that portraits of familiar faces are so popular and massively produced not only in art but in marketing as well.

For this edition of collectors tip, we selected nine exceptional portraits which you can add to your art collection right now.

Featured image: Vincent Bardou – Tupac, detail, 2017. All images courtesy of their respective galleries.

Martha Cooper - Mighty Martha

The first work on our list is of the influential American photojournalist Martha Cooper, who gained the cult status after documenting the New York City graffiti scene of the 1970s and 1980s. She worked for National Geographic in the 1960s and the New York Post in the 1970s.

Cooper was captured here by the 1UP crew while putting the shawl over her mouth, typical for street artists before they start painting the walls.

See more info about the work here.

Devin Miles - Pink Flower

Next up is German artist Devin Miles who is a representative of Contemporary German Pop Art. Initially, he experimented with digital art, but then shifted to screenprinting and painting, and gained fame for his silkscreen collages. Miles is very inspired by the history of cinema, especially the era of the 1950s and 1960s.

This work perfectly illustrates that since it features the portrait of the iconic sex symbol Brigitte Bardot on the cover of Vogue.

See more info about the work here.

Peter Combe – J'adore

The following work features the portrait of an underground superstar Amanda Lepore made by the San Francisco-based visual artist Peter Combe. His particular aesthetic is deeply inspired by the aesthetic of social media, and especially Instagram, meaning that all of his images are always presented in square format.

The portrait of Lepore is presented in a pixelated manner, while the title suggests tells the artists articulation of the celebrity culture and the way it penetrates our daily reality.

See more info about the work here.

David LaChapelle - Pamela Anderson

American photographer David LaChapelle has an iconic status because of his elaborate and campy fashion editorials based on various for art history references and certain social phenomenon; he took photos of various characters from Hollywood celebrities to socialites.

For this particular shoot, LaChapelle presented the famous actress/model Pamela Anderson, best known for her appearances in Playboy magazine and 1990s TV series Baywatch and V.I.P..

See more info about the work here.

Mr. Brainwash - Follow Your Dream (Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X)

This artwork was made by the Los Angeles-based street artist Thierry Guetta, also known as Mr. Brainwash. The controversy surrounds his career due to Banksy’s claim he became the street artist in his own right thanks to his cousin the street artists Invader and to Banksy himself.

This particular work features whole figure portraits of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, who were the leading proponents of the civil rights movement and in general spokesman for the Afro-American community and loud fighters against racism.

See more info about the work here.

Andy Warhol - Double Self Portrait

Next, we have the self-portrait of the prince of Pop Art – Andy Warhol. This innovative figure was known for exploring various aspects of the underground currents during the 1960s and promoting a new kind of art. However, through his studio and the constant acquaintances, Warhol had examine not only the outer world, but his own persona as well in order to determine the levels of his ego.

See more info about the work here.

Vincent Bardou – Tupac

Vincent Bardou started his career as a designer but quickly transferred to painting. Stylistically, he experiments with abstraction and figuration, while his portraits of real or fictional characters reveal an array of different references.

This particular portrait features the celebrated rapper Tupac in a specific manner reminiscent of both Pop Art and graffiti art.

See more info about the work here.

Val Kilmer – Mark Twain

Hollywood star Val Kilmer has also been a visual artist as well for more than a decade now. He is one of the most prolific actors of his generation, and his roles in films such as Top Gun or The Doors are iconic.

However, Kilmer has an apparent need to express his other talents, and this particular work of his pays homage to one of the greatest American writers - Mark Twain.

See more info about the work here.

Michael Moebius - Aladdin Sane

Finally, we have Michael Mobius, best known for distinct pop portraits of celebrities blowing up bubblegum such as The Beatles, Audrey Hepburn or Queen Elizabeth II. After seeing the book of Alberto Vargas’s pinup works during the mid-1990s for the first time, Moebius started taking painting courses and embraced the techniques of Andy Warhol and Titian.

This particular work depicts the adorable pop chameleon David Bowie in one of his characters he developed during his career.

See more info about the work here.

Follow These Artists

Andy Warhol
Devin Miles

Follow These Galleries


Neuchatel, Switzerland

Woodward Gallery

New York City, United States of America


Miami, United States of America