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George, by Deborah Oropallo

This show was awesome! From the curator notes from the 2007 Guise show at the de Young: Oropallo layers “the images of contemporary women in sexy costumes with images of men from 17th- and 18th-century portrait paintings. Painted portraits did not simply document the likeness of the sitter but were also contrived to convey a sense of his importance and authority. Nobility and dignity were attributes portrayed through stance, gesture, and attire, and portraits often involved costume and props….in all the prints, the vast symbolism of classic portraiture is employed, raising issues about gender, costume, fantasy, potency, power, and hierarchy. The artist asks, ‘Does the popularity of fetish fashion stem from the fact that it makes women appear strong and very powerful?’

On a related note, check out my Sidewalk Style subject this week: Ongina!

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