In real life I don’t like flowers. I can’t get attached to something that dies so quickly, so I make flowers that live forever. -Victoire de Castellane
For her debut solo art exhibition Fleurs d’Excès (translation:Flowers of Excess), Victoire de Castellane recently transformed the Gagosian Gallery in Paris into an imagined sharply defined botanical garden.
Unconcerned about convention, though passionate about history and technical challenge, de Castellane’s creations are fueled by an irrepressible imagination, taking cues from various sources such as the wonders of Technicolor; the Brothers Grimm and Walt Disney; Hollywood screen idols, manga characters and cupcakes.
Inspired by this play of naïveté and knowingness, De Castellane’s collection delights in subtle subversions of sweetness, delicious dips into darkness. Fallen nature makes an appearance in charming necklaces, pendants, rings and bracelets fit for a tea party. What at first seems like a pleasing tangle of pink sequined blossoms, however, at second glance becomes a wild-growing weed with thorns of crystal. Beautiful, yes—but calculated to damage any creature that ventures too close.
And what of the rest of Victoire’s Eden? Nature, red in tooth and claw—dazzling to the eyes but a reminder, perhaps, that we are all wandering this earth a little lost, a little alienated from our fellow creatures.