Can you find the four royal faces?
  • Can you find the four royal faces?
Maybe it's because of yesterday's announcement of the construction of a luxury hotel at Versailles, but I am awake at 4:44 am with imperialist porcelain on the brain.

Hung low on one wall in the midst of the slightly mad twinkle of Seattle Art Museum's porcelain room is a white plate with a circular design in its center. It was commissioned by the French royals—but with the instructions to be discreet about its patronage, since the revoutionary spirit was in the air. In the final design, the four faces of the royal family are hidden in the trees.

  • BAM!
In a room painted devilish red at Bellevue Arts Museum, an orgy is taking place on a tabletop. The kind of painted porcelain miniature figurines that typically grace the kitsch-cabinets of the contemporary suburban bourgeoisie are here engaged in a Faust-feast. Nothing obscene is going on—unless you consider the scandalous display of wealth obscene, and their hungry-skinny 20th-century-celebrity looks (I could swear I saw Lindsay Lohan in there). Lining the walls are big, glossy, full-color closeup photographs of the tabletop figurines. It's a shiver of a party. The artists responsible are Portland's Chris Antemann and Kendrick Moholt, and the show is up through January 16. (More images here.)