When you walk into the London branch or contemporary art auction house Phillips, a gigantic pink, organically shaped creature, embellished with beading and patchwork welcomes you. In the background you can hear Madonna’s Eighties hit song ‘Material Girl’.
In other spaces and on the floor below, other colourful sculptures and installations are on show: this is the Portugese artist Joana Vasconcelos’ summer selling exhibition, titled ‘Material Girl’.
The title is no coincidence, as Vasconcelos’ work deals with social and political issues as feminism and consumerism. She takes these elements and shows them in an ironic way, placing them out of context. For example the work ‘Tea for Two’ takes a white porcelain urinoir and covers it in white and blue floral crochet fabric.
‘Bed of Roses’ covers a Baroque mirror with similar pink crochet fabric, adding pearls and beads. Vasconcelos shows extremely decorative and lively pieces that make it hard to look beyond the surface.
If you like colourful and playful with substance – as a Mandarina Duck Journal reader you surely do, go visit ‘Material Girl. It’s on all summer, until the end of August, a perfect artistic break from shopping in London’s Mayfair area.