Queen’s flamboyant frontman Freddie Mercury is being re-imagined as some of the most iconic queens in history, real and fictional, as part of a new art exhibit in the Seattle area.
It’s titled “Long Live Queen Freddie” and is a collection of paintings and prints featuring Mercury’s likeness dressed up as a variety of characters ranging from Queen Marie Antoinette to Queen Amidala to the queen of clubs.
Images of the artwork on the gallery’s website, show Mercury as a cartoonish Marie Antoinette, holding a bottle of champagne as a cigarette balances on his lips and a dialogue bubble proclaims, “Let them eat cake!” As Queen Elizabeth, Mercury is crowned with a sparkling tiara and diamond jewelry as he peers over his left shoulder, reminiscent of a portrait in the style of Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.” They’re whimsical and thought-provoking at the same time, and that’s the point. The artist, Chuck Knigge, describes Queen and Mercury as longtime influences. The website explains that the goal of the artwork is “to create a social commentary in a digestible series. He wants you to have fun first, but not without raising questions.”
“Long Live Queen Freddie” opens at the Fulcrum Gallery in Tacoma Friday (July 12) and will run through August. There is a $5 suggested donation with part of the proceeds going to the Rainbow Center in Tacoma, which according to its website is working for equality for people of all genders and sexual orientations.
Go here for more information on the gallery’s hours.