The Glorious Glamour of Domestic Demise

Posted on Dec 29, 2020

Patty Carroll, Campaigning, Catherine Couturier Gallery

Campaigning, 2020

Patty Carroll's series "Collapse and Calamity" was recently featured on Blind, a French and English online photography magazine. Click here to read the full article.

The Glorious Glamour of Domestic Demise in the Photography of Patty Carroll

by Miss Rosen

December 29, 2020

In her series “Collapse and Calamity,” photographer Patty Carroll stages exquisite scenes of death by interior design. 

Home is the ultimate escape from the pressures of daily life, a private getaway where we can unwind and be our true selves. But it’s not always that simple. At a time when people are practicing social isolation in a Sisyphean attempt to stanch the exponential spread of COVID-19 across the United States, homes have been transformed into offices, schools, restaurants, and gyms — spaces that are constricting, even claustrophobic, in their limitations. 

Patty Carroll, Blues, Catherine Couturier Gallery

Blues, 2018

In challenging times, humor can be the best medicine. A little levity goes a long way when the weight of the world sends us climbing the walls. In the world of American photographer Patty Carroll those walls bite back is a series of Baroque horrors taken from the on-going series, “Anonymous Women: Domestic Demise.” Her exhibition, Collapse and Calamity, presents delightfully decadent scenes of death that come about in an ill-fated quest to create the “perfect home.” 

Inspired in part by the board game “Clue,” Carroll crafts melodramatic moments of domesticity gone awry. Every corner of the home becomes suspect, the setting for a disaster so luxurious it’s hard to do anything but laugh. Nestled deep in the desire for an opulent oasis are the very seeds of demise. “The perfect home is a blessing, a joy, and a burden that you want to have this thing and it’s never going to be perfect but you keep trying,” says Carroll, who came of age in the 1950s and ‘60s, at a time when the consumerist lifestyle was being perfectly crystallized. 

Patty Carroll, Cleaned Out, Catherine Couturier Gallery

Cleaned Out, 2018

“Mid-century design is almost mythical in its idea about perfection. It was a time of hope. It all happened after the big war and everyone was becoming prosperous. It was a magical, glamorous time. People dressed up for dinner in their perfect homes where the drapes matched the wallpaper and the sofa. My mother’s house was never that good; it wasn’t even close. Later on you tell yourself, ‘I’m going to give myself the perfect life I never had.’”

Click here, to continue reading on Blind.

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