In 1785 Prince George of Wales fell in love with Maria Fitzherbert, a commoner. Because their love was forbidden, they each had miniatures of their eyes painted for one another, so that they could look deep into them always- without fear of being caught by the royal family. Although he officially married another, he was buried with his token of Maria around his neck. Eye miniatures, or Lover’s Eyes, stayed popular through Victorian times, before fading out of fashion.
On September 1st 2012, Art Nerd New York and Lori Zimmer present “George Hearts Maria,” a Victorian pop-up plucked out of history and taking root in Helium Cowboy’s summer group show. The parasitic gallery takes residence on the gallery floor, amidst the summer group show. Inside the appendage-gallery is a pristine Victorian sitting room, complete with a collection of eye miniatures.
“George Hearts Maria” asks contemporary artists to pay tribute to the star crossed lovers, and reinterpret the lost art historical tradition of eye miniatures, adding a modernist skew to the once romantic art movement. Featuring works by ALEX DIAMOND, ALLISON SOMMERS, BARNABY WHITFIELD, BEAU STANTON, BILLY, ELIZABETH WINNEL, FRED CARON, IAN KUALI’I, IAN LARSEN, JASON BOTKIN, JEAN LABOURDETTE/TURF1, JIM DORAN, JON BURGERMAN, JONATHAN GRASSI, JON TODD, MARNE LUCAS, MICHAEL MARARIAN, MOLLY CRABAPPLE, MY DOG SIGHS, NYUGEN SMITH, REBECCA REEVE, RICARDO CAVOLO, RUDY VIG, RYAN V. BRENNAN, SHARK TOOF, TRAVIS LOUIE, TRONG GIA NGUYEN AND ZAC BRAUN.
Limited edition print sets of select works, inside a custom screen printed box will be available from 1xRun.com, as well as eye miniature buttons will be given away to visitors to the gallery on opening night.