Student artist gives Hollywood a new look

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April 15th, 2011

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Omaha, NE- In a small work area outside the UNO ceramics and sculpture lab, student Mark Fideler’s enthusiasm for art was equally met by his strong back. As he attempted to carry the sculpture into the building; the 200 pound, 8 feet tall wooden Marilyn Monroe looked down at him with a sly grin, almost as if she was enjoying the attention.

Firework Marilyn in her early stages (Photo by Ben Bohall)

After incorporating the help of one reporter and some fellow classmates, Fideler finally rested the sculpture inside the lab. While catching his breath, he wiped the sweat off his brow and took a moment to reflect upon the colorful sight in front of him, then got right back to work.

For Fideler, the grandson of a World War II veteran and cane maker, the apple hasn’t fallen very far from the tree. His passion for art, pop culture and wood-working has led him to where he is today. For the past four months, Fideler has focused primarily on the large sculpture of Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe- that he calls “Firework Marilyn”. Through several different color tones, and overall scale, he has made an impressive representation of a personality who was certainly larger than life.

“That image you see right away and you know what it means…especially the imagery I used for this,” said Fideler. “It really just spoke to me and stood out. It kinda came out and I just ran with that.”

And it didn’t happen overnight. Fideler said there were times where he wondered if it was even worth finishing.

“Sometimes you hit a wall with it and you just want to stop, but then you see other people and their work and where they’re going with it. You think, if I just keep driving through it, maybe I can come up with something just as cool….and I think I did,” said Fideler.

For any spectator, it’s a site to behold. Monroe’s classic looks and charm are captured in an awe-inspiring pose that brings to mind memories of Hollywood’s heyday. Fideler said that he hopes this is only the beginning, and that he can continue to personify the characters we all know and love into his artwork.

“Well I have ideas for more using that kind of iconic imagery from this. I was going to do a John Lennon one next. Just really anything.. I don’t really plan things out in the conventional sense, I just kinda come up with an idea one day and I run with it…and this is what comes out of it,” said Fideler.

Fideler has been featured in galleries around and wishes to pursue painting, as well as sculpting, after he graduates next fall.

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