The immense painting, tribute to the Queen of England, by Heiko Saxo, has become part of the Beaulieu Continental Art Gallery collection after being transported by air, according to the creator’s preference. An eccentric move worthy of such an original masterpiece.The British monarch with a glint in her eyes, and for an interesting reason, as they each hold two diamonds.
When it comes to this enormous painting, the German-British artist did not do anything half-heartedly. Created as a veritable compilation, the artwork named Queen Elizabeth Perfume Artwork includes a collection of the artist’s creations. The entirely golden 24 carat piece measures 2.80m by 2m and is made up of 1000 bottles of perfume, created by Saxo in Grasse, and applied by silkscreen printing.
“Every piece is like a masterpiece in itself. It is a kind of compilation of different creations: perfume, painting, symphony…”, explained Heiko Saxo. The musical element is integrated into the piece by the pink discs placed along the long royal train of the monarch’s outfit.
500kg, 450 000 euros
An original tribute to the Queen of England, who the artist considers to be close to: “My book is in a chest in Buckingham Palace. Some of my creations can be found in Buckingham Place, St James Palace, Clarence House, Westminster Abbey…”.
To transport his work to the Beaulieu Continental Art Gallery, where it will be on show for a year and on sale for 450 000 euros, the artist could’ve chosen a truck. So why did he choose a helicopter? “Well why not?” – he replied mockingly.
In the loading shed of the Fontvieille heliport, the tension was palpable an hour before departure – everyone was fussing over the painting that was placed in a wagon. The anxiety of those present could be felt, as only a single strap secured the 500kg painting. Only the artist was calm, singing a thunderous and menacing version of God Save the Queen. The cargo was reinforced by a couple of extra anchoring points, and just after 2pm, the DB3 transporting the piece was ready for take off.
Queen Elizabeth II 100m off the ground
Her majesty flew off, held up by just one strap, making her way across the coastline for 20 minutes at 300 to 500 feet of altitude (about 100m high). The two straps that dangled off the piece, that were later used to pull the piece back down to the ground, swung around in perfect coordination. Elizabeth II looked out at the luxurious villas below her, her gaze unmoving. The Petite Afrique beach was visible on the horizon as the helicopter prepared for its descent under the curious eyes of bathers.
The arrival of Royalty, even in the form of a painting, must always be meticulously planned: a red carpet was laid out for the occasion in the parking between the beach and the Port de Plaisance. Slowly, the helicopter descended to deliver the painting, which landed gracefully, welcomed by the staff on land.
In Heiko Saxo’s opinion, this acrobatic and spectacular transportation of the painting was an artistic performance in itself.