Hollywood Most Wanted + Co.at the Arclight, infamous ‘mugs’ on display

Fancy colorized mug shots of some of Hollywood’s most iconic actors? American pop culture is mashed with polarizing political figures for a completely unique art experience as multimedia artist Rachel Schmeidler brings Hollywood Most Wanted + Co to Tinseltown.

The mug shot art exhibit of Communists side by side with Hollywood Celebrities is on display until April 28 2010 at the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood, CA.  Artist Reception April 21, 2010.


In a twist on McCarthyism, Communist political leaders and revolutionaries appear side by side with Hollywood celebrities on the walls of the Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood. 


Artist Rachel Schmeidler’s exhibit opens March 4th and features mixed media mug shots on paper of various celebrities, musicians, and politicians. The exhibit will run through April 28, 2010.


“Hollywood Most Wanted + Co.” is an original, darkly humorous, and at times upsetting take on American culture.  Mug shots of entertainers and politicians captured at their lowest moments are released by law enforcement and Schmeidler, combining new imaging technology with silk screening techniques, restores them to their full glamour.

Half of the United States already lumps Hollywood types in as lefties, commies and socialists, so it is fitting we have Charlie Sheen staring at us from a stark hot pink background, eyes piercing with venom. Entitled socialite Paris Hilton gazes with her not so innocent stare. 

Vladimir Lenin peers darkly from a crimson background, bringing to mind the communist hammer and sickle. Trotsky, Castro and Stalin join Lenin alongside American politicians such as former Senator and bathroom toe-tapper Larry Craig, radio host Rush Limbaugh and James Traficant, all in a vibrant array of colors and inky blacks.  Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown and many more all do star turns on the exhibits’ rock’n roll “hall of shame.” 

Raised in Germany, Schmeidler considers this show an expression of her fascination with American pop culture.  “Political pundits cast aspersions on candidates and incumbents by labeling their policies and beliefs ‘communist’ or ‘socialist,’” explains Schmeidler about her motivation for this series.  “I have noticed many of these exchanges recently and wanted to bring them to light in a humorous way by placing them here alongside Hollywood celebrities and musicians. We are all ultimately the same before the flash of the mug shot bulb.” 

Schmeidler came to the US in her teens and still retains something of the objectivity and fascination of an outsider as she combines the discernment of a cultural critic with the artists’ expressive palette.   As of this date, she has transformed over 80 mug shots into works of art.

More information about the artwork including a complete list of subjects and purchasing information is available here

The Arclight Hollywood is located at 6360 W. Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. The exhibit is located on all three floors and is open to the public for free of charge.