CENTREFOLD / Elvis, wart and all: South Bank's shrine to the King
Friday 22 July 1994
It was only after Elvis's death that Mabe's obsession took hold. While at art school she was visited by The King in her dreams. He directed her towards souvenir shops and auctions and his spirit began to permeate her work. 'When Elvis died,' she says, 'I fell in love with his image. I picked up anything I could find. My mother used to say she sent me to art school to become Leonardo da Vinci and all I did was drag home junk.' Young Joni may not have given the world a contemporary Mona Lisa, but, with a truly baroque sensibility, she has definitively apotheosised one of the popular icons of our time. Mabe serves up a heady cocktail steeped in American kitsch, heavy on religious symbolism and tasteless in the extreme. The King would have loved it.
Royal Festival Hall, SE1 (071-928 8800) 23 July-29 Aug
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