Crown – Self portrait series

E ………p ………i ………p ………h ………a ………n ………y

A study of illusion and reality, parody and humour

I pledge allegiance to no nation, no kin, no thing other than my heart where truth exists in its purest form, only then shall I understand why

Wearing this object feels quite normal. It is a bit musty from the inside and it sags by the weight of the crown stone that pulls it to the front. There is no feeling of history, yet there is the overwhelming presence of obligation. The piece has no price.

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The concept of, for Queen and country become acute with the subversion of its meaning in this performance piece. He sits on a ‘throne’ with the false weight of the crown on his head. A crown that he has appropriated from a real photograph of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth. He has managed to make the crown look as though he has actually faked it in ‘real life’ like a prop from a stage play. When in actuality, it is ‘the’ crown.

His posture is reflective of all historical art poses of the wealthy and the nobility. The presence of the dog, casually passing by, pausing to protect his private parts is another layer of meaning on a very staid background. This breed of dog has its own pedigree and its elegant bearing helps to heighten the question, what exactly is going on within the frame?

The dog is not at his side, helping to bring a sense of style, but instead is at the forefront, almost as though by accident. Yet, without the dog, the piece changes meaning completely, as more nudity would provide more questions. Although the bare chest already suggests an unsettling doubt to the question of a type of power. Is this element about brawn for example?

There is also an air of suppressed (or not) sexuality. A campiness to the crown tilted on the head like one would a cap. Not too different from the meaning made by Damien Hirst of the diamond skull, literally taking something of one type of value and overlaying it with another.

In these times, what is truth, what is reality? The monarchy’s survival is constantly in question. The dog is clearly staring at the head that wears the non existent crown, and the entire image is washed out as though it were a painting and not a photograph. He plays with many illusions, and all are provocative. – Adele

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