'Kick Ass Actors' Exhibit Showcases Portraits of Iconic Hollywood Roles

By Mathew Katz on December 12, 2012 7:41am 

CHELSEA — Peter Venkman. Beatrix Kiddo. Bill The Butcher.

Some of the most iconic roles of modern Hollywood movies will soon be on display in Chelsea.

The new show at the Wix Lounge, a free co-working space in Chelsea, kicks off in early January with eight collage portraits of actors in their most famous roles, including Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," and Morgan Freeman as Detective William Somerset from "Seven."

"I've just been a mad fanatic about films my whole life," said Borbay, the artist who created the portraits and goes by a single name.

"I just wanted to paint kick-ass actors and kick-ass roles, so my wife said to do that."

Appropriately enough, the exhibition, launching on Jan. 16, is called "Kick Ass Actors in Kick Ass Roles."

A full-time artist since 2009, Borbay's last foray into portraiture of the rich and famous came last year with his "Kings of Hip Hop" exhibit, featuring portraits of famous rappers like Eminem and Kanye West.

"Kick Ass Actors" features several new portraits on top of ones that have been shown before, including an image of Joe Pesci that Borbay is still working on.

The new actor portraits, each pulled from a recognizable moment in their respective films, are made out of newspaper collages filled in with acrylic paint on a typically 30-inch-by-30-inch canvas.

They're each named with a hybrid of both the actor and their role — for example, "Hunter S. Depp" — to show the coming together of the fictional character and the real actor.

"I think that's the whole drive behind the series — the duality of the character," Borbay said.

"What I tried to do was capture a little bit of Johnny Depp, a little bit of Hunter S. Thompson. Where it all comes together, it's that character."

The show will launch with a reception on Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Wix Lounge, 10 W. 18th St. It runs until Jan. 31.

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