This Butterfly Headpiece (2003) by Philip Treacy epitomizes the milliner’s untethered and imaginative approach to design. A swarm of butterflies is assembled from exquisitely worked turkey feathers that were cut, painted and hand-fashioned into delicate, fluttering forms. Butterflies are one of the most potent symbols of collecting. Rooted in taxidermic systems yet resplendent with poetry, the insect occupies a prominent spot in most European Wunderkammern, or cabinets of curiosities. Continue reading Eye On Design: Butterfly Headpiece By Philip Treacy
If you happen to take the N, R or Q trains to the Fifth Avenue and 59th Street stop on your way to the Central Park Zoo, be sure to first participate in the underground Subway Art Safari that’s going on in the station, as you will not only encounter this colorful flock of Butterflies, but also tiles mosaic murals of Parrots, Penguins, Horses, Monkeys and other creatures.
The “Work Reconsidered” in the title is John Wilde’s own drawing. This painting from 1950 is based on a “bridal” portrait that Wilde had made of his wife, Helen, in 1943. Its exacting realism and compressed perspective, as well as the subject’s pose and inscrutable expression, recall the Northern and Italian Renaissance portraits that inspired Wilde. He added surrealist details to these traditions: the butterflies on the woman’s body and head, the isolated food items on the table, and the moody landscape background create and otherworldly effect.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum in NYC.