Back in the spring of 2012, I had my first-ever solo exhibition (sold out!), called "Forgotten Finery" at Rivet gallery in Columbus, Ohio. This show marked the first time I took a decidedly "lighter" approach to a body of work, as many of my previous shows had featured darker colors, a more "decay" oriented aesthetic, and a slightly more sinister feel. I wanted to explore my work as a form of decoration, and approach this particular group of dolls from a brighter and warmer perspective.
The main source of inspiration for this show was Rococo art and fashion (I even made a nearly 3-foot tall bunny in a layered Rococo-style gown). It exemplifies this sort of "opulence of privilege" that exists purely as a fantasy for most people, attainable for very few.
Some inspirations included:
• the incredible fashion (for both men and women of the high classes) of the late 18th century, with hand-tatted lace, shimmering silks, matte velvets, and hand-embroidery.
• the soft, buttermint colors of tea roses and peonies
• exquisite (and often inedible-looking) wedding cakes, French pastries, and confections
• The lore and speculation surrounding the life of Marie Antoinette. I read a couple of biographies about her during my time working on the project. I also watched Sofia Coppola's film "Marie Antoinette" numerous times as well - while not a historically accurate depiction, the art direction and costuming are endlessly inspiring to me, still. Every frame, it seems, contains at least one very good artistic decision.
• the stiff and lovely costume of classical ballet
• block-printed wallpaper, from the 18th century
|My "Duchesse" for the show - freestanding at 30" tall!|
|I even ensured that the refreshments at the opening fit the color scheme!|