Marie Antoinette is probably the most famous or rather infamous queen in the annals of history. Other than being immortalised by her response “Let them eat cake” to the starving French populace, most probably an outcome of a negative propaganda against the Ancien Régime, she was also known for her extravagant style. Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos has designed a whimsical gilded helicopter called ‘Lilicoptère’ as a tribute to her.
I am sure all of you are as amused by this creation as I am. It reminds me of the dialogue from Superman, “It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!” But in the case of this helicopter, people will remain befuddled looking at this bright pink bird like creature flying in the sky. What a sight! Joana Vasconcelos has used a Bell 47 helicopter and covered it with bright pink ostrich feathers. The rest of the body has been covered with gold leaf and encrusted with Swarovski Crystals. Even the upholstery has been embossed with gold and contains Marie Antoinette’s initials. Arraiolos rugs cover the walnut wood floor. This is the artist’s vision of what the Queen would fly in, if alive today.
Feathers were quite the fashion statement in those days and the beautiful queen made ample use of them in her dresses and headgears. So it is not hard to see why feathers were chosen as the most prominent item of decoration in the helicopter. Joana Vasconcelos brought this work of art in collaboration with Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva of Lisbon. If you want a further dose of the late French queen, you can have a look at her beautiful jewellery and shoes that were auctioned some time back. If you haven’t seen it already, you could also check out the film on Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola.