Portuguese fantasy at Versailles
Anyone visiting the Palace of Versailles in France this summer will be greeted by a pair of giant shoes made of pans, a helicopter crusted with Swarovski crystals and a giant wrought iron kettle, among other curious artworks.
These form part of an exhibition by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, who is following in the footsteps of other renowned artists such as Takashi Murakami and Jeff Coons.
Ms Vasconcelos is the first woman to exhibit at the majestic palace and its surrounding gardens and, at 40, is also the youngest artist to present her work there.
The contemporary artist − who worked as a doorwoman at a Lisbon nightclub and handed out freebies in a supermarket before becoming one of the brightest stars of the Portuguese art world − does not seek to fit into Versailles but to confront it.
Her work is made up of re-directions, metamorphoses and displacements of objects, cuts across time and shifts the symbols.
She questions notions of luxury and beauty by proposing works especially designed for the palace.
Her approach consists of the re-appropriation of everyday objects which she transforms using inventive and unexpected techniques.
Ms Vasconcelos has already shown her work in emblematic places such as the Venice Biennale in 2005 and 2007.
The exhibition opens today and runs until September 30.