A painted mannequin is at the center of this picture. She is placed in an interior full of specially-designed objects. Marble, wooden and silky materials. A book about the dramatic staging of fashion. And a map of Glasgow, Lucy McKenzie’s birthplace, which is hung as wallpaper.
We are immersed in a surreal psychodrama; at the same time we are captivated by the photorealistically-painted surfaces.
What other details are hidden in this painting? Can you decipher what connection they have to each other?
It is evident from this oil painting that Lucy McKenzie trained in trompe-l’oeil painting, the art of deceiving the eye, in Brussels. Rebecca and the space surrounding her have been painted with technical perfection and meticulous care. Lucy is both artist and craftswoman.
Can the boundaries between art, craftsmanship and design be seen clearly in the works of Lucy McKenzie? Or are these three areas inseparable? What does this mean for understanding the making of art?
Lucy draws inspiration from art, history, everyday life and fashion. Rebecca is a hybrid. Her head is based on a plaster cast from the archive of the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels, where Lucy lives. But instead of marble white, her face is adorned with make-up and red lipstick. Her body is that of a fashion doll dressed in a 1930s couture dress by the designer Madeleine Vionnet.
Rebecca and the surface of the painting are stiff, inaccessible and smooth. What is hidden behind the façade?
Talk about it
What place does a woman occupy in fashion and design in the 20th century? What body image underlies her presentation?
Lucy is not only precise when painting, but she has also researched the details of the picture with scientific accuracy. The exploration of historical and cultural contexts is part of her art.