Monday, November 2, 2009

#54 "Victorian Secret"

#54 William Schaeffer of Fly Creek, NY

“Victorian Secret”

Embellishments & Techniques: The two sequined fan shapes come from a fan purchased at the Dollar Store. Other Dollar Store purchases include a red satin bag, baby block letters, ribbon, “flowers” (dyed to look vintage), and a pair of decorated Chinese slippers cut apart for the bra sides. The fancy braids and tassels came from an interior decorator’s store. The small key is an antique, painted gold. Black glitter paint was lightly applied to blend the exposed black fabric. Everything is held in place with hot glue.

Artist’s Statement: The title of my work, “Victorian Secret” is a take-off on the name “Victoria’s Secret”. I chose a Victorian theme and played with the idea of secrets. Many valuables and secrets were kept close to a woman’s heart in the safety of her undergarments. Turning the bra around reveals a daring red, a far racier color than a “proper” Victorian lady would wear. A closer look reveals a deeper secret: the key to the cure. The key to the cure is there; it’s just hidden from view.

My creation is partially inspired by Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980), oldest daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt. Mrs. Longworth was born in the Victorian era and lived into the Modern era. Longworth was known for her flamboyance. She had a mastectomy at age 72, then a second mastectomy at age 86. After her second surgery, Longworth called herself the only “topless octogenarian” in Washington. Longworth lived to be 96.

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