Maria Grazia Chiuri (born 1964 Rome, Italy) is the first woman to be appointed artistic Director at Christian Dior. She established herself as an activist designer with the slogans she incorporated into her first ready-to-wear collection, most famously “We should all be feminists,” from the title of a 2014 essay by Chiamanda Ngozi Adichie.
In Remedios Varo’s The Juggler (The Magician) 1956, the titular juggler (or magician) stands on a platform of a carnivalesque cart filled with fantastical objects and animals. He performs before seemingly identical figures robed in a single gray cloak. To produce this composition, Varo worked in the manner of early Renaissance masters; she transposed preparatory drawings onto a a gesso-primed panel which had been scratched to give it texture. She also deployed decalomania, a technique favored by the Surrealists in which materials such as paper or aluminum foil are pressed onto wet paint to transfer a pattern that may be embellished. Its atmospheric effects can be seen in the magician’s garments and in the background trees.
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.