The residents of Cannes are used to seeing celebrities along La Croisette, but this year visitors will be more than surprised to view a naked Queen of England painted alongside Lucian Freud at the Cannes Art Fair. In the painting her majesty reveals nothing more than a smile. People at a preview for the fair were practically in hysterics as they gazed at Mia Funk’s painting, An Audience with the Queen.
An Audience with the Funk won the Thames & Hudson Prize in May 2010. A British visitor to the preview compared the painting to the “withering pictures of Hogarth. It’s refreshing to find a new work that’s memorable and resonates with humour.”
Mia Funk’s agent, Christian LaPorte says, “The sharp satire of An Audience with the Queen deals with a topic usually highly insulated in terms of imagery. Royalty in Europe depends more and more on image to remain royal in the absence of more traditional means of power. The stagy setting and the banal activities including the palpable fleshiness of Freud and the Queen is indeed stronger than caricature as it does not depend on exaggeration or distortion, but a precisely imagined reality in which traditional image making is kept very purposely at bay. This suggests a strange pictorial iconoclasm, where pictures are used to attack imagery in favour of another communication.”
Watching the reaction to the painting, Mia Funk said she is delighted that it’s being “received in the spirit in which it was painted. There is far too much serious stuff out there.”
The Cannes Art Fair runs from 11th to 16th August 2010, at La Salle de la Capitainerie, Port de Cannes, La Croisette, Cannes. There are over fifty invited artists with special participation of the Russian Academies of Ekatarinburg of Nizni.