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Portfolios: August 2013 Curator Reviewed Art
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Thank you Kristen. The kings and queens have only one chance to shine on this stage so I wanted to research their profile, stance and how they react to their peers! There's also a guide to who's who which includes Villianous Richard III, Wild Swelyn, Tamed Cnut and Awkward James I. They are all there from Alfred the Great to Elizabeth II.
Many thanks again.
Feel free to quote me wherever you wish. But I wouldn't have imagined the extensive research involved, and that the costuming is all true to period. Nevertheless, it's a great piece and deserves a careful viewing.
Thank you for your lovely comments. Working the Red Carpet is indeed a voyeuristic obsession with today's celebrity culture which lightly mocks both the celebrity and 'stargazer'. It is also aims to be educational and engaging. The six month creation of this piece was a long process of researching the history of each monarch, referencing art and costumes from each era, photographing individual people and animals and carefully adding piece-by-piece textiles, illustrations, jewellery, print, feathers, shoes, buttons, armour, swords and crowns to the work. The headless lady carrying her own head is Lady Jane Grey and the men in suits are the bodyguards trying to keep the crowds at bay and the Kings and Queens from killing each other! The aim of ‘Working the Red Carpet’ was to ultimately gather all the monarchs together in one contemporary scene and see how they and the audience would react and whether their egos would get along!
Many thanks again and glad you enjoyed them.
May I quote your comment on my website?
Working the Red Carpet is an exuberantly comical and smart image, lithely intermingling past and present aristocracy in a Post-Modern mash up. I believe I can detect Elizabethan collars and sword wielding feudal lords alongside current heads of state in business suits!? ( And is that an empty headless dress in the extreme background?) There seems to be a mirrored replication of some kind on the left side of the composition, though this may be the illusion of the architecture and ornamental detailing. Regardless of any sensation of repetition, the room appears to unfold itself to reveal compactly stacked characters, as in an expansive historical mural. But the jewel tones and opulent costuming also seem ironic in the context of the contemporary theater of Hollywood and all of its conspicuous consumption. It could be a sly nod to the celebrity of the living British Monarchy, who seemed reduced to commercial entertainment or tabloid fodder. But I don’t actually see this as irreverent appropriation- in fact the lavish wardrobes stop short of vapid ostentation, and speak rather directly to bestowed rank and class. Perhaps more than anything the piece is about the laypersons’ voyeuristic obsession with it all. Aesthetically, my favorite in the grouping would have to be 12 Dancing Princesses. The radial symmetry holding the doll like figures together also employs a droll edginess, reducing the princess’s collective plight to absurd amusement. The central hub of the clock wheel is a gorgeous red jewel- almost mocking the more drab dresses of the women it holds. The even dozen figures position themselves obediently as numerals, but there is also the intimation of fairy tale, and the magic numerology of the number twelve. It’s a bit difficult for me to make out their various accouterments, but the cryptic nature of their function is part of the fun.
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Ms Kristen T. Woodward critiques of members art.
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