Marie Antoinette at Paris on Ponce

This is a picture-heavy post of one of the most stunning pieces of art I’ve seen in Atlanta.

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It’s a sculpture of Marie Antoinette, created by the team at Paris on Ponce, where it’s been on display for the last few years.

It was designed originally in 2012 for “The Next Cool Event” party, for which local Atlanta artists created displays of memorable scenes from movies. This sculpture, with its giant floating head and elaborate wig, was the perfect exaggeration of the opulent wigs and fashions worn by the beheaded 18th century Queen of France.

It’s a whimsical and wild, yet meticulous, interpretation, and… it’s made entirely with paper. What a medium, what a result. OK, I’m done pontificating. Check out zee pics:

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I think what I really love about this is the Project Runway element of it, creating couture from an unexpected medium. The detailing intrigues and delights me. Folds of pink, gilded “lace” ruffles, poufy sleeves, hemlines, beading, bustles… I just like it all.

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And then you’ve got the enormous head, which is a crown unto itself: grandiose, cumbersome, yet light enough to be lifted away by birds and butterflies…

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I think more than one adult could curl up in fetal position inside that head.

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Why was she beheaded? The story goes that the Marie Antoinette led a very excessive life, spending copious amounts of money on fashions, parties, and famously her hair. See this image from the Marie Antoinette film, starring Kirsten Dunst; that hair is at least a foot tall.

Marie-Antoinette

And she was beheaded by the French people for being wasteful while they were so poor. That’s why this sculpture’s head is not attached to its body.

Here is a quote from the artists about the project:

When we made the giant paper Marie Antoinette for “The Next Cool Event” that was a great crafting project, and the way it was received, as compared to other business’s very expensive displays, was really satisfying. Our aim was to show that we could make the most ordinary of mediums be extraordinary. Clever beats a dollar bill every time.

I’d have to agree with that. Bravo!

Press play below to watch the trailer for the 2006 movie, if you’d like to see it.


You can visit the lightheaded queen at Paris on Ponce, 716 Ponce De Leon Place NE, Atlanta. Tell her her favorite lady-in-waiting sent you (me).

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