Edwardian Ball 2023
21 x 35
Edition of 250
5 colors on cream paper
Signed and Numbered
Sold Out – Thank You!
This poster is officially available at the show in SF. I will be making a very limited online release of this poster on Sunday, February 5, 2023 between 9-10 am PST.
It’s Edwardian Ball time again, and as always, it’s a great pleasure to work with Justin Katz, the Edwardian Ball impresario, and once again I had a lot of fun making this poster!
My Edwardian Ball posters always have an edge of social critique in them. They are done with a wink and a nod, in keeping with the enjoyment of attending such an elaborate period pageant.
Most of the attendees also realize that the Edwardian era was one of unabashed and ostentatious oligarchy, unrivaled economic imperialism and a presumed European superiority complex. It’s all of these things that makes the period so bizarre to us today. I’ve always endeavored to reveal this outrageous and bizarre sense of imperial entitlement in my Edwardian Ball posters, and keep them wild and fun.
I try to channel the spirit of our age in a non-linear way with each year’s Edwardian Ball poster, making allegory, or touching a simple parallel between our 21st Century experience and the far-away world of Edwardian “Society.”
This year’s poster is a portrait of the Edwardian Era’s namesake: King Edward VII. Edward was a cad’s cad. The moral of his story is one of the bilious poison of the privileged life of an ill-moralled emperor. The poison will get you in the end.
Known as “Dirty Bertie”, Edward spent every spare moment during the 20 years before ascending the throne in 1901 patronizing every bordello in Paris. His favorite establishment Le Cabanais had a reserved room for the future emperor-king complete with his coat-of-arms over his bed. Edward lodged there with his own elegant copper bathtub fashioned into an oddly shaped half-woman, half-swan (Salvador Dali later purchased Edward’s tub of ill-repute). He was keen to fill his tub with champagne. You heard that right, he bathed in champagne.
Edward was quite the inveterate blue-blooded, demi-monde and spent every night in a variety of Paris’ nightclubs in and around Montmartre, especially the legendary Moulin Rouge. If you made the scene in the Paris of the 1880’s and 90’s you would have eventually rubbed shoulders (or perhaps some body part) with the debauched future King of the British Empire.
I shouldn’t say that Edward VII settled down after being burdened with the Crown. His appetites killed him in 9 short years on the throne. He continued his unabashedly toxic, imperial ways through an unabashedly toxic and imperial age, which shall ever bear his name: the Edwardian Era.