Chantal Roos and Alexandra Roos, Dear Rose
Church of Santa Maria della Consolazione, Rome
Martino Longhi Il Vecchio
Mannerism is, in its central idea, familiar to anyone who ever threw a purple scarf over a shoulder, slipped on a pair of 6” pink platform stilettos, and added a hat that, somehow, made the neck look longer. Other people stop and stare. Meryl Streep applies huge technique to a character, Passion Pit weaving odd, subtle ornamentation into a song—mannered. It dares you to like it on its own terms. The effect is striking because it is exaggerated and slightly strange. Both more real than real and yet obviously intentionally faked, Mannerism the style of the Big Idea.
Bloody Rose is almost perfectly Mannerist. It is a Big Idea. It is a rose but it is more, or maybe just different. The fat façade of the “Chiesa di Santa Maria della Consolazione” is weird and out of place makes the church something other than what it purports to be. Bloody Rose produces the same shock. It is a rose in a purple scarf and blood-colored stiletto heels. It is a masterful fake, laughing, terrifying, highly mannered and expert at it.