Pretty to Death

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    Photo: Dan Jurgens
Mirrors, found wood, bones, sunglasses, infant's shoe, artificial flowers, steel pipe, cotton fiber, found objects, paint
19 x 21 x 16 inches
Collection of
Souls Grown Deep Foundation

With its portable, mirrored altar to vanity and to youth, Holley's Pretty to Death is an incisive look at the narcissistic delusions we all share. The piece defines a relationship between beauty and death; in seeking Beauty we marginalize or eliminate other, potentially competitive visions. This exclusion forecloses our ability to develop inner, moral beauty as we yearn for outward beauty. The viewer sees in the mirror an image of the self and a rotting and peeling white altar containing bleached animal skull bones wearing reflective sunglasses. In charms and graves, the mirror's flash is said to represent ancestors, and here that flash imprecates against the self-absorption of our age.