Who Needs International Fame?
6 local celebs who don’t need a show on E!
Michael Sharp—Homer, Alaska
Sharp is widely known in the Alaskan peninsula town of Homer for his dedication to his daily surfing ritual in the below freezing, 25°F seawater.
Erich Sligh—Redwood Valley, California
One of Mendocino County’s most successful marijuana growers, has boosted his trade by funding one of the most popular marijuana magazines on the West coast, Grow, for whih he serves as both editor and publisher.
XXX, the most famous rock band in Bali, consists of three brothers: Rahtwo, Rahtut, and Rahmink, pictured from left to right. The group is already renowned in their hometown of Denpasar, where they attract crowds of up to 10,000 fans as they gain traction in the growing Indonesian music scene.
Brigitte Rivera—Boca del Rio, Mexico
“I’ve done more than 20 aesthetic surgeries to look like Britney,” says Brigitte, a legendary transgender nightclub performer and sex worker in the Mexican city of Boca del Rio. Rivera, who was often seen riding around the city in her bright red Mini Cooper, was sadly found dead in 2011.
Tu Fenghao and Sun Jie—Beijing, China
Tu Fenghao and Sun Jie, pictured from left to right, helped popularize parkour as a sport in China, bringing gymnastics to the streets of Beijing. Together, they co-founded Beijing’s Urban Monkey parkour club, where aspiring parkour traceurs go to train.
Megan Spurkland—Anchor Point, Alaska
As the only female captain of a salmon fishing boat in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, Spurkland is known for her success in an overwhelmingly male-dominated profession.
At one point, being an international celebrity seemed to be a considerable accomplishment. Remember John Lennon stating that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus? If you can say one positive thing about the Justin Biebers, Lindsay Lohans, and Kim Kardashians of the world, it’s that they’ve made the absurdity of celebrity worship crystal clear. Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti spent two years traveling through five continents, capturing subjects who wield extraordinary cultural power. Galimberti’s subjects elicit curiosity more than they do prostration. “They are admired, but they are also your neighbors,” says Galimberti. “People talk about them at the bar, and race to offer them a coffee when they enter. They are called by their first name.” In our hyper-connected age of late capitalism, who really wants to be bigger than Jesus, if you can be a local celebrity?