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Our Lady of the Flowers

Our Lady of the Flowers

Drawing on the symbology of Christian liturgy, this series of illustrations offers a critical appraisal of the literary work "Our Lady of the Flowers," by French transgressive author Jean Genet. Genet completed his first draft of the contraversial novel whilst in prison. His first manuscript was written on brown paper. Discovered by the prison guards, the manuscript was burned. He then set about writing it again.

Genet promotes thieves, vagabonds, murderers and prostitutes to the level of sainthood. He transvaluates; abrogating cultural mores and inverting divine praise. The illustration series attempts to mirror that transvaluation.

The series presents the three main characters that are interwoven with the strange, cyclic narrative, sometimes truthful, sometimes fantastic. Our Lady of the Flowers, a young murderer is depicted, also Genet himself, imprisoned. The final panel shows Divine, a transvestite prostitute, undergoing apotheosis through death.

The series presents an alternative to what is normative and established; by delineating what is peripheral in a culture, we can identify what is central.

Brief: Illustrate Critically and Sympathetically Jean Genet's novel "Our Lady of the Flowers."