Vanity Fair

2013

black velvet, steel car registration vanity plate
1550mmH x 1550mmW x 8mmD

Series: The Allegory

In a high-contrast blend of soft velvet and reflective steel, Vanity Fair creates a sensual experience. In the context of the Art Fair, the attention-seeking artwork questions the boundaries of popular culture, fashion and fine art. Both the square of black velvet and the vanity plate contain ambivalent art pedigrees. Originally developed as a substrate for religious painting, the black velvet genre became the domain of male artists painting nude dark-skinned women in exotic scenes, and more recently is associated with kitsch, irony and mail-order art. Presented as a black square, the velvet monochrome also conjures an aesthetic high ground of Minimalism and Modernism, and forms the substrate for Curate (religious or spiritual leader; art director). Centre-stage, Curate shines in the spotlight and under flash light casts a halo on the velvet ground. Like a celestial angel or a celebrity blinded in a blaze of light, the artwork becomes a medium, shedding light and reflecting ideas about influence, values, competition and egos.