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    Starchitects wear their buildings in a new art series

    Nathan Johnson

     An interesting illustration series has been circulating the web and is addressing the notion of ‘architecture celebrity’ in a playful way.  

    Illustrator Paul Stuller of Brooklyn has curated a series of prints called "Kings and Queens of Architecture", which have appeared online at architizer and depict architects wearing their most iconic buildings as a type of hat.

    The prints continue a historical lineage of these types of dressing-as-architecture. The 1931 Beaux-Arts Ball is the most famous, with a host of architects dressed as their skyscrapers, including Stewart Walker as the Fuller Building, Leonard Schultze as the Waldorf-Astoria, Ely Jacques Kahn as the Squibb Building, William Van Alen as the Chrysler Building, Ralph Walker as the Wall Street Building, and Joseph Freedlander as the Museum of the City of New York.

    “This project is more reminiscent of John Stoughton's Queen City King, a critique of Cincinnati's new Great American Tower at Queen City Square. The drawing calls into question the paradox of putting a queen's crown on a phallic building, making the project conceptually ambiguous. The building is also a formal dichotomy: an awkward pastiche of building and decorative glass carelessly placed on top,” said architizer’s Matt Shaw.

    “Unfortunately, Kings and Queens of Architecture's glamorization of architects by means of an acritical plop of their work atop their heads doesn't carry the critical punch of Stoughton's project. There was an opportunity to relate the star with the starchitecture, and explain where the personality of these buildings came from. Unfortunately they read more like a poster in a teen magazine, which paradoxically might be the project's strength, as it carries the lineage of Warhol's "God Save the Queen,"which posits the queen as a pop icon no different than Marilyn Monroe.”

    Images: Architizer.

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