When this work was initially created in 2016, it was part of a show examining the intriguing and often unusual behaviors of the Olsen twins. My contribution, a site-specific installation, was meant to be a satirical commentary on Mary-Kate, who had recently wed 46-year-old French financier Oliver Sarkozy, and celebrated their nuptials with a now infamous cigarette-filled, private reception. While there was no (publicly available) photographic evidence of the affair, there was one singular, descriptive quote that seemed to circulate like wildfire - “bowls and bowls filled with cigarettes, and everyone smoked the whole night.” And in that quote, a very specific narrative was depicted.

With extreme wealth – the kind of disproportionate wealth that only the top 1% experiences in their lifetime – comes the luxury of disposable income, fostering a stratosphere of out of touch affluence and privilege. In envisioning this elitist “alternate” reality, I imagined a reception filled with decadent, if not impractical, gold-leafed cigarettes.

Most of the choices I made at the time were purely aesthetic, channeling the avant-garde, fashion-forward taste of the Olsen’s. The simple black and white color palette felt stark, modern, bold. Punctuated by gold accents, the unmistakable trace of wealth, and of course, privilege.

In reflecting the current times, there is an opportunity to recontextualize this work. Repurpose it for a greater intention. That’s the magical thing about art installations – they are fluid, temporal, and often continually evolving. The site-specific portion of this installation, by nature, no longer exists, however, these “readymades”, now outside of their intended place and purpose, serve both as a remnant and a point of departure.

Removed from the original context, but not devoid of content, I am pairing the individual black and white cigarettes with each other in a transformative symbolic gesture. Traces of privilege set aside. Black and white harmoniously connected. Stronger together than apart.

- Lauren Brescia, Founder + Creative Director of salonlb.

By giving a suggested donation of $20 or more to one of the featured organizations (see below), you will be entered into a raffle to win a set of limited-edition readymade art objects by artist and [ salonlb. ] Founder, Lauren Brescia. Simply, screenshot or forward your donation receipt to to participate.

[ salonlb. ] will match donations up to $500 to each of the three organizations featured below, for a total of $1500!

Three lucky winners will receive a readymade set that includes:

(1) White Label Modern gold-leafed cigarette (Edition of 60)
(1) Black Label Noir gold-leafed cigarette (Edition of 50)

Each cigarette is encapsulated in its own glass vial, signed and numbered by the artist.

DONATION DEADLINE: August 31st, 2020

*Donation receipts must be submitted by 11:59PM on 8/31/20 to be entered into raffle.

Three winners will be selected and announced on 9/1/20.

Please consider donating to the following organizations: