Bodie and Charlie

 

Bodie and Charlie

Rosa Quadrelli

Power: Preservation of Public Image

I have a personal interest in Habsburg dynasty and the last Habsburg King of Spain, Charles the II (The Bewitched King.) The dynasty was rife with incest and intermarriage which resulted in the bizarre phenomenon of the Habsburg jaw along with many other physical, intellectual and emotional disabilities.

However, the manner in which artists such as Velázquez and Rubens captured the family shows them in a powerful and graceful light – smoothing out many of their more damming physical attributes. This façade, that was carefully crafted for the Spanish working-class public, fascinates me. 

I’ve developed this idea further by adopting The Habsburg family and using them as a means to tell my own stories. I’m mostly interested in the idea of a façade/mask and how I, and many others, use a false face when interacting with people. How we show a more perfected and desirable version of ourselves and seek to hide our insecurities and mental and physical ‘lackings’. (This is especially prevalent in the age of social media.) 

For me, Charles II is the epitome of what we seek to hide. In my painting, he presents the puppet-like version of myself with a 'new face'. 

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VisualJohn Byrne Award