Piece of the Week: Penelope Przekop’s “Her Majesty,” the Defiant Diptych

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From cold-shouldering her ogling-eyed, tight-lipped critics to defying the dogma of her formal genre, Her Majesty is a rule breaker.

Her high-gloss, movie-star face is modeled after a photograph of actress, Emma Stone – whose very name evokes feminine strength. Enthroned in a blue chair and boasting twisting, golden locks, the woman commands this empire of opulent colors and rich textures.

Made with acrylic, ink and pastels on canvas, Her Majesty (50”X34”) by Penelope Przekop is Art Talk’s Piece of the Week. The central figure is a blonde woman wearing only a red, richly ornamented robe and an unapologetic stare. Her body is upright but twisted in a sturdy, blue chair. The background is a gallery of judging female faces and ropes of blonde hair.

The woman’s gaze is transfixing. While her head is slightly turned and a strike of hair interrupts the glow of her skin, her gaze is unbroken. Empowered, she refuses the voyeuristic eye to objectify her; if you look at her, she looks at you.

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“The emotion behind the piece is the idea of a woman who is comfortable in her own skin. Perhaps, in spite of her past or those who may judge her,“ says Przekop.  

One of the most beautifully paradoxical aspects of this painting is the fact that Her Majesty is part of a diptych (an art form comprising two related panels) and, yet, can stand defiantly on its own. The second side of the panel continues the checkered tapestry, but features a fully-clothed man, seated in a dark, comparatively skeletal chair. His mouth is slightly open. He leans forward with his arms crossed at the wrists. Like his fierce, female counterpart, he is also haloed with faces; but his are men with cropped hair and open mouths.

Though they are interconnected both formally and with the checkered tapestry, the woman can stand independently. “She is what she is with or without The Guy,” says Przekop. As a whole unit, the two panels together are called The Meeting.

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The Guy is “simultaneously an afterthought and a central element” says the artist. He is worthy of the woman, but not essential to her strength. Their relationship is complex and dynamic.  

“I love figurative work that seems to not just relay a bit of story but also inspires a question.”


See more art from Penelope Przekop on UGallery.com