i felt the luxury considers the psychology of mortality salience as perceived through the semiotics of luxury. It emphasises high-end consumption, its relation to social identity and the West’s cultural coding through the endorsement and curation of luxury objects – the fetishisation of a Rolex watch or a pair of Gucci loafers (lol), for instance. The work aims to reveal the unconscious drives behind such behaviour, provoking the viewer to consider how much of themselves they may have inherited from external sources and, more significantly, why?
Existential psychotherapy classifies such actions as defences against the awareness of one’s mortality. The imagery used in Bronte’s work subverts the very images designed to entice and tranquillise the citizen turned consumer: online stock photos and ad campaigns, even brands’ logos themselves, all collated into a new discourse that queries our contemporary ennui. The materiality of the work responds to this fear of finitude and existential anxiety by representing these images with the tenuously held brushstrokes of velvet pile, open to disappearance from a touch of the hand, or even a simple change in light.
Image: Bronte Stolz, 2018, “It wasn’t realistic for me to purchase. It only had a one-car garage.” – Kimmie K., velvet.