The Source for Contemporary Art Quilts, Exhibitions & Appraisals

Robin Schwalb comments:

"The past, both ancient and more recent, is always present in the Eternal City. The ancient acronym SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romanus, 'the senate and people of Rome') is still used by the modern municipality. Here, a contemporary mannequin--you may think of her as Candida, patron saint of yeast infections--is haloed by the coffered ceiling of the Pantheon. Is she receiving an electric shock from those outstretched fingers?--a shout-out to Michaelangelo's fresco in the Sistine Chapel. Her torso is a composite capital in the Capitoline Museum, in Rome. The borders are based on Roman cosmati, or mosaic floors. And no image of Rome would be complete without a buzzing flock of Vespas, with an old Fiat thrown in for good measure."

The quote stenciled in the lower border is from Gary Shteyngart's novel Super Sad True Love Story (2010): "The city of Rome appeared around us, casually splendid, eternally assured of itself, happy to take our money and pose for a photo, but in the end needing nothing and no one."


Note: This quilt is committed to the exhibition "Semper Tedium," which is currently on tour.
The quilt can be reserved with a deposit but will not be available until the exhibition is over.
Please contact Robert Shaw for more information or to reserve the quilt.

More quilts by Robin Schwalb

SPQR by Robin Schwalb

Detail of SPQR by Robin Schwalb

Quilt photos by Jean Vong.

Below is the Photoshop mockup that Schwalb based the quilt on. She notes that: "The fuzzy mosaic border in the mockup was always only a placeholder. I suspected that the real pattern would come from a circular cosmati design; my Photoshop skills simply aren't good enough to be worth spending the time to straighten it out. A pencil and graph paper works just fine. She notes that."

SPQR cartoon by Robin Schwalb



Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)

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Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)

Bottom left and right: Toward Barred Island (detail) by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade