Rosa Zaira Quadrelli
I have a personal interest in the family tree of the 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 way artists such as Diego Velázquez and Juan Carreño de Miranda captured the family shows them in a powerful, beautiful and graceful light – smoothing out many of their more damning physical attributes. This façade that was carefully crafted for the Spanish working-class public fascinates me. I have developed this idea further by adopting Charles the II (Charlie) and Margaret Theresa (Margie) and turning them into caricatures. Charlie is not unlike the modern drag queen: someone who dresses up elaborately and flamboyantly to project a character that is fictitious. I’m mostly interested in the idea of the façade/mask and how I, along with many others, use a false face when interacting with people and on social media. This echoes how we show a more perfected and desirable version of ourselves and seek to hide our insecurities and mental and physical ‘lackings’.