Conchita channels Klimt for Life Ball poster

Conchita channels Klimt for Life Ball poster
Life Ball organiser Gery Keszler with the poster. Photo: APA/PFARRHOFER
The new art work for the 2015 Life Ball features Austrian drag star and Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst styled as Gustav Klimt’s iconic 'Golden Adele' in an image by fashion photographer Ellen von Unwerth.

The posters will soon be on display on the streets of Vienna, and the image will be cast in gold on a medallion by Austrian Mint. 50% of the proceeds of its sale will go to AIDS LIFE.

Three different versions of the poster will include the text: “Acceptance is the daughter of freedom”; “Freedom grows where rules break”; and “Homeland of great daughter/sons” (the last one plays on an earlier controversy about Austria’s national anthem).

“I love Klimt, his paintings with all those colours, all this glamour and all the poetry. I felt very inspired by creating an homage to this extraordinary painting,” Ellen von Unwerth said.

Wurst’s dress is embroidered with more than 12,000 Swarovski crystals which took around 1,250 hours to create by a team from the Life Ball and students from the Fashion School Herbststraße in Vienna. The spectacular dress will be displayed at the Swarovski shop on Vienna’s Kärntner Strasse.

Last year’s Life Ball posters proved to be extremely controversial as they featured transgender model Carmen Carrera, photographed by David La Chapelle, and depicting Carrera as Botecelli’s The Birth of Venus with female genitalia in one version, and male genitalia in the other.

The original images were sold at auction for almost €180,000, to raise money for AIDS charities.  

The Life Ball is Europe’s largest AIDS Fundraiser, and takes place this year on May 16th in Vienna.

Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer

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