Vincent Gallo (the actor the Times once called a "misunderstood auteur pursuing an intensely personal vision") and fashion photographer Terry Richardson (whose work has been described as having "real pertinence in an industry that tends to be conservative and anodyne") are featured in a new Belvedere vodka ad. I saw it last night and it is depressing.
In it, Gallo runs around like a party ape and defaces a painting with a crude smiley face before making out with a girl underneath a grand piano. Richardson, beflanneled of course, grins goofily at the camera and takes a picture of it.
Ostensibly, the ad is meant to position Belvedere as the downtown drink of choice and other brands, such as Grey Goose, as the stuffy uptown beverage. But! What it really gets at is how both Gallo and Richardson have become silly parodies of themselves. Gallo, who fancies himself an artist, takes a Sharpie and defaces an admittedly mediocre painting with a scrawl and stands back as if he's created something truly trenchant. It's almost as self-indulgent as when he concocted a whole movie around Chloe Sevigny giving him head. Richardson, on the other hand, is shown so hellbent on documenting his own fame that he can only train his lens on a lens trained at him. Whatever. It makes me want to have a drink but definitely not Belvedere.