“SWEET 18” 18th Century-Inspired Exhibition Merges Art, Fashion and Design

by CaroPosted on

Andreas Franke

The historic Hingene Castle (Kasteel d’Ursel) in Belgium is playing host to an exhibition of prolific international artists inspired by the 18th century, “SWEET 18.” On view through July 5th, the exhibit takes a look at the period’s influence on contemporary art through an immersive collection of painting, photography, sculpture, furniture and fashion design. Over fifty artists have works on display, including Erwin Olad, Wim Delvoye, Ray Caesar, Jaime Hayon, Nick Ervink, Hella Jongerius, Andreas Franke, and fashion designers such as Bernhard Willhelm and Yohji Yamamoto. When most of of us think of the 18th century, style icon Marie Antoinette is the first to come to mind, and she can be felt in the palette and extravagant attitude of many of the pieces. There is a sensual and playful nature throughout, displayed in an array of pastels, bright colors and bold shapes. Ray Caesar channels her unique sense of style and rebellious qualities in his digital paintings of chic heroines. Wigs and hooped petticoats are another staple of 18th century fashion, which Hella Jongerius reimagines as porcelain sculptures adorned by fantasy creatures, like the “Frog Prince”. Photographer Andreas Franke takes the 18th century underwater to the surreal setting of a sunken ship, terrifying yet decadent. There are endless iterations of the time period, proving its relevance in today’s art world, but also reinventing our idea of 18th century as something completely new. Take a look at more of the images in the exhibition below, courtesy of Kasteel d’Ursel.

Hella Jongerius

Ray Caesar

Nick Ervinck

Jaime Hayon

Erwin Olaf

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