Lisbon-based artist Joana Vasconcelos has certainly jazzed up this helicopter. The particular aircraft, a piece of art entitled Lilicoptère, is Vasconcelos' interpretation of what Marie Antoinette would have chosen for her personal travels if she were alive today. The base of the piece is a Bell 47 helicopter, and the artist decorated it, inside and out, with ostrich feathers, Swarovski crystals, gold leaf, industrial coating, dyed leather upholstery embossed with fine gold, Arraiolos rugs, walnut wood, wood grain painting, and elaborate gold braided trimmings.
According to the artist statement, the piece "draws on the rich, glamorous and bold aesthetics of the royalty of the late Ancien Régime in order to suggest a metamorphosis from machine to animal; a return to the origin and to the inspiration that motivated the realization of man's dream of flying." The modern installation, a part of the artist’s 2012 solo exhibition at the Palace of Versaille, sat in strong juxtaposition against the ornately decorated, 17th century room. Regardless of the time period, anyone finding themselves a passenger in this fancy aircraft would surely get a kick out of riding in such ultimate and over-the-top style.
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