Beauty Queen Totem

The work that thematically anchors Power and Burden of Beauty is the monumental Beauty Queen Totem, which stands some eleven feet tall on a victory platform that is archly suggestive of a wedding cake. Crowned, gowned and sashed on her trophy, this beauty contest winner is immediately recognizable, looking at once perfect and perfectly wrong. With her ramrod posture and a stony blankness in her anonymous gaze, she appears to be stranded in victory. Rather than a bejeweled tiara, she wears a blank headpiece formed around a single narcissus bloom, a touchstone for the impermanence of beauty and the inevitability of decay.

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