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A female subject wears a pair of massive wings roughly 12 feet in total length. Each wing resembles that of a bird’s and is covered in black goose feathers that are layered on to give the surface a dense appearance. At the tip of each wing is a handful of green-tinted rooster feathers that hang loosely off the larger structure. Where the wings are thickest lie an assortment of fluffy feathers that almost resemble cotton. The wings stretch outward to the model’s side and almost seem to engulf the landscape. Snow falls through the air onto green grass, though some flakes catch onto the wings and shine bright on the black surface. A large brick building, bare trees, and a gawking crowd of people can be seen in the background.

“Fallen Angel” Realized

Madeline Leja

Multimedia wearable sculpture (reed, bamboo, tissue paper, and various feathers)

“‘Fallen Angel’ Realized” is heavily inspired by Alexandre Cabanel’s 1868 painting “Fallen Angel.” “Falling Angel” depicts Lucifer fuming in silent rage moments after being banished from Heaven. A tensed, muscled arm partially obscures his enraged glare as massive, darkening wings curl behind him. “‘Fallen Angel’ Realized” is my interpretation of the devilish wings framing Lucifer in Cabanel’s creation. “‘Fallen Angel’ Realized” is not an exact recreation of “Fallen Angel.” Within “Fallen Angel,” Lucifer, a male subject, glares away from the audience as he curls into himself. Replacing the male Lucifer with a female form in this exact same pose would invoke a sense of voyeurism not to be encouraged. Instead, the wings in “‘Fallen Angel’ Realized” are splayed outwards to suggest knowing and less-hidden rage. And, to signal scopophilia rather than voyeurism, the photographs of the piece feature a female subject aware of the audience’s gaze as she stares directly into the camera lens.