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Giclée print, 2012
Signed Print Edition of 30
H 95cm x W 138cm
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|Auction Date||Auction House||Artwork|
Return to Seller
|July 2022||Tate Ward Auctions - United Kingdom||When We Were Kings - Signed Print|
|October 2020||Tate Ward Auctions - United Kingdom||When We Were Kings - Signed Print|
Executed on Somerset Satin paper, When We Were Kings (2012) is a signed giclée print by Conor Harrington that represents his need to interrogate the questions of wealth and power through the medium of art. Released in an edition of 30, the work features middle-aged men in period costumes alongside naked female bodies, all surrounded by an opulent setting, high-quality silk textiles, and sophisticated props.
As in the case of Samson’s Nostalgia Trap (2014) and The Unveiling (2014), Conor Harrington’s later screen prints, all human figures featured in When We Were Kings are gathered around a large wooden table that is given a central position among the abundant number of objects. A nude female figure is seen resting on the tabletop while a middle-aged man holds a mirror in front of her, vaguely reflecting the woman’s face. Wearing only a loose vest on the naked body, another woman sits on the chair on the right side of the table and observes the scene in front of her. What introduces an element of disruption is the dead animal body lying on the floor, parallel to the body of the blonde female figure at the centre of the print.
The overwhelming presence of silk textiles alongside the dead animal body that speaks of agony and mistreatment encapsulate Harrington’s acute examination of modern life, its power dynamics, and paradoxes. The artist commented in the context of questions that drive his art: "I'm interested in empire and cycles of power and how we're seeing a shift away from European dominance. I'm also interested in how today's culture is obsessed with consumerism so the dead animals in these paintings are a metaphor for waste and excess."