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A Reign of Decadence and Defiance (Ode to Marie Antoinette) Artwork

Chloe McCarrick

United Kingdom

Mixed Media, Photography on Handmade Paper

Size: 15.1 W x 20.5 H x 1.6 D in

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About The Artwork

This original cyanotype shines a light on Marie Antoinette, a woman who broke from the restrictive norms of her time, embracing a unique fashion sense and supporting artists and innovators. The iconic Queen of France during the late 18th century, is a figure of both intrigue and tragedy. Her reign at the lavish court of Versailles symbolized opulence and extravagance, yet it was marked by the tumultuous backdrop of the French Revolution. She was the last queen of France and is a far more complex figure than the symbol of royal excess she is often portrayed as. Her life’s journey, from a fairytale to a tragic end, is a vivid lesson in resilience. She became queen at a young age and navigated a world dominated by men, constantly under intense public scrutiny. Despite being criticised for her lifestyle during France’s economic struggles, she showed remarkable strength and poise in the face of adversity. Marie Antoinette broke from the restrictive norms of her time, embracing a unique fashion sense and supporting artists and innovators. Her courage, even as she faced her tragic fate, serves as an enduring symbol of grace under pressure. For modern women, her story can inspire strength, individuality, and the courage to stand tall in the face of criticism. Her life, ultimately cut short by the guillotine during the French Revolution, is a stark reminder of the power and perils of royalty in a changing world. Marie Antoinette's legacy is one of contradictions, representing the allure of luxury and the harsh realities of political turmoil. Her story continues to captivate as a cautionary tale of the intersection between power, privilege, and the relentless march of history. A Reign of Decadence and Defiance (Ode To Marie Antoinette) was created by constructing a hand-cut collage using female photographic portraiture, photographs of miniature gourmet cakes, whipped cream swirls and ice cream sundaes creating a wig structure.

Details & Dimensions

Mixed Media:Photography on Handmade Paper

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:15.1 W x 20.5 H x 1.6 D in

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I am London based artist and mixed-media printmaker. My work is a visual celebration of female trailblazers and (s)heroes past and present using alternative process photography to create an illuminating memorial honouring these fascinating and often overlooked figures. Shining a vital spotlight on these extraordinary characters, I aim to place women’s history firmly within current historical and cultural narratives by pushing the boundaries of how female photographic portraiture is viewed in the modern world. Through rule breaking and blending mediums, I use traditional photographic techniques with a contemporary, technological twist- A fusion of science, history and darkroom alchemy. By examining and developing innovative ways of reworking photographic, painted and illustrated images, I use the medium of hand-cut collage, mixed-media print techniques, and the monochromatic colour palette of Prussian blue cyanotypes to create otherworldly, surrealistic portraits suspended deep inside the paper’s surface. Seeking to record and interpret the perspectives and human experience of my subjects, I shape their stories to construct a layered whole. Using rigorous research rituals- (my methodology of collecting and interpreting data) I document their voices and their visions- their authority, knowledge, struggles and wisdom to create compelling narratives. A rich and resonant means to honour the lives and legacies of women, whose individual and collective accomplishments have enriched our lives. In rendering them visible, they serve as a totem of strength, these inspirational and empowering figures symbolise emerging hope. The portraits are chronicles of enquiry, evolving through the dialogue between myself as the artist, the subject and the viewer, with an aim to start conversations, break barriers and appeal to intellect and emotion.I hope to inform and inspire by creating narratives that capture the richness, complexity, and dimensionality of human experience in a social and cultural context. Each one leading toward a quest for new understandings and valuable insights, as well as instigating a societal sea change. “I hope my visual storytelling ignites imaginations and rouses a curiosity to delve deeper and discover more about the lives of these remarkable women. I want people to feel connected, connected to their stories and to notice the unnoticed.”

Artist Recognition

Featured in the Catalog

Featured in Saatchi Art's printed catalog, sent to thousands of art collectors

Showed at the The Other Art Fair

Handpicked to show at The Other Art Fair presented by Saatchi Art in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Chicago, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Brooklyn

Artist featured in a collection

Artist featured by Saatchi Art in a collection

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