LAUGHING IN ANTLERS...
Bathed in a grey and blond glow, a pink doe, her antlers upside-down. And imprisoned within them, like the patron of a Flintstones-era hair salon, a woman. Her eyes are hidden by an indistinct fringe, but they appear to be closed. And yet that indistinct fringe and those closed eyes mask one of the sharpest and most caustic visions in contemporary art. She laughs.
And just what might prompt this beauty to laugh, if not her animals? She laughs at the tricks she plays on them, and on us, tricks that by their unexpected quality bypass everyday logic. She laughs quietly... But her laugh is immense since big is beautiful, and beauty begets lightheartedness. The only thing to fear is that the game will come to an end.
A work of art is a bit of a farce. Laughter is the second level of stupor.
She laughs, and all conventions fall away. In what tale is she the queen, or the madwoman? The evil stepsister, the witch or the fairy godmother? In what parallel universe does she hunt down her trophies?
Like the beads of a mauve waterfall in a cotton-embroidered clearing set ablaze by the twilight, she laughs.
She laughs, incessantly gathering, this demiurge of bric-a-brac, flea markets and second-hand shops. For the original state of her comical bestiary is in fact an altered state. Grandmotherly painstakingness, charwomanly artistry, these humble and laborious tapestries move us. The thread with which they are woven is spun with solitude and impecuniosity. But she will make them flamboyant. We know they came unhung from the walls of one-bedroom flats. But she will have them reappear elsewhere and otherwise. Frédérique Morrel transforms their destiny, breathing a second utterly splendorous life into them. These poor derided images will take on luxurious forms and find spectacular revenge.
Frédérique Morell delights in it. It is in her genes and she knows it. Good taste always feeds on the blood of bad. Chic and gaudy are two flowers in the same garden.
Why is it that, since Philippe Starck and Paul Smith bought her first works, great lovers of art the world over now keep a close eye on all her acts and misdeeds?
Why is it that the sole aspiration of brands such as Hermès is to spirit away a morsel of that whimsical, subversive and ever-so-endearing universe? Undoubtedly that same law that has decided that her creatures, some of which weigh over 200 pounds, appear to be as light as a quip: the laughter of eyes hidden behind an indistinct fringe; that laughter exactly.