Whose face is that?
When I saw this exhibition, I was reminded of the early '90s when The Metropolitan Museum commissioned custom-made mannequin heads based on the face of Christy Turlington, for the reopening of The Costume Institute. It was boyish, clean and timeless, and successfully bridged the gap between the old and modern.
The face featured in the current exhibition, "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," is almost too specific that I thought it also warrants some digging.
First, its visibly not Christy.
Second, her eyes are closed not in solemn meditation, but rather, as if she was told to close her eyes and now, she anxiously awaits.
But curators Andrew Bolton and Wendy Yu--as it turned out-- had the opposite intention. As reported by Laird Borrelli-Persson for vogue.com, "...references were Michelangelo’s 15th-century Pietà, on permanent display in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, and Prosper d’Épinay’s 1901 sculpture of Joan of Arc, which stands in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame at Reims. “I wanted the face to look serene and contemplative,” Bolton tells Vogue,“hence the closed eyes and slightly downcast expression.”"
I don't totally disagree. Its just that, you know when that damn flash made you close your eyes at the very moment the shutter clicks?
"Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination," at The Metropolitan Museum of Art/The Met Cloisters, May 10 through October 8, 2018
photos: © 2018 Arturo Veloira