October 24, 2000
But Is It Any Good? In the escalating competition for biggest, splashiest, costliest art-collections-at-sea, Royal Caribbean is trying a new attempt: Celebrity Art Gallery. Among the stars whose works-of-art will be displayed on Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Explorer of the Seas, include oil paintings from Billy Dee Williams; a pop-art collage from Peter Falk; serigraph prints from Anthony Quinn, Henry Miller and jazz great Miles Davis; an oil painting titled “Atlantic City” from Tony Bennett; and celebrity portraits from photographers Annie Lebowitz, Milton Greene and Henry Diltz. According to Royal Caribbean’s announcement this week, some celebrities worked in several mediums. Herb Alpert's work includes abstract expressionist prints and sculptures; Tony Curtis' and Anthony Quinn's displays include paintings and sculptures. Williams' painting is of jazz singer Billy Holliday. Lebowitz’s, Greene's and Diltz's portraits include more than 25 celebrities, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Meryl Streep, Andy Warhol, Ella Fitzgerald, John Lennon, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Frank While the celebrity artwork will be scattered throughout the mammoth ship’s decks 1 - 12, the highlight is the “Stairway of the Stars.” Says Joan Blackman, the director of Miami’s London Contemporary Art, which served as Royal Caribbean’s celebrity-art advisor: “We'll bet that most people didn't know that these celebrities also are gifted artists.” Uh huh.