Jennifer Rubell -- occasional Miami resident, member of the famed, art-loving Rubell family, and artist -- is again indulging her inner girl child. This time, she's after the idea of snagging Prince Charming with her exhibit "Engagement," opening at London's Stephen Friedman Gallery this week.
In it, she's created a life-sized resin statute of Prince William from his engagement photo, but his fiancé is notably absent. In place of Kate Middleton, Rubell invites gallery-goers to link arms with the studly almost-king and play with their own childhood princess fantasies. What elevates the exhibit from a Madame Tussaud-like tourist trap is the Harvard BFA-er's acclaimed reputation for intriguing installations and happenings.
You may remember that Rubell's installation during Art Basel Miami Beach
was a favorite among visiting critics. In Just Right, she created a
homage to the goldilocks fable with a secret house filled with 750 bowls, 750
spoons, 36 Crock-Pots of porridge, and 8,000 boxes of raisins and
packets of brown sugar behind the Rubell Family Collection on 29th Street.
In "Engagement," she also includes consumables with as series of working
taps next to faux Prince William, which release streams of British
Empire-themed beverages such as Irish whiskey and sloe gin. As for
trying to cash in on the wedding of the century, Rubell tells the
"It's completely opportunistic," she said. "Being opportunistic does not
necessarily have negative connotations. Andy Warhol was the most
opportunistic artist who ever lived. "All artists make work which deals
with the issues they are interested in."
But there was also something to the aesthetic of the now famous
engagement photo. Rubell recently told Wallpaper magazine, "When I first saw the
official announcement picture, what struck me was that Prince William's
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position felt very sculptural. I immediately understood that there could
be an opportunity for people to engage with this sculptural element."