Beauty Queen


Wooden crate and oak Christ (France, 17th century)

25 x 49 x 32 cm (9 13/16 x 19 5/16 x 12 5/8 in.)

The severed oak torso of a 17th century Christ is perfectly embedded in a wooden crate originally containing cans of condensed milk. An astonishing sculpture, Danh Vo's Beauty Queen combines objects from distant cultures, as evidenced by its title, based on the lyrics of Michael Jackson's song Billie Jean. In this discordant game, he is interested in the transportation devices of commercial and cultural goods.

Danh Vo draws on his own history to question the processes of the circulation of economic, symbolic and spiritual values. In several works, he cuts old religious sculptures up into small pieces to fit into old crates for transporting goods. This unexpected combination of cultural references questions the symbolic value of works of art.

Danh Vo's Beauty Queen was exhibited for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the 2015 "Slip of the Tongue" exhibition at the Punta della Dogana.