How much is that bling in the window

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Night time is the best time to see Robert Raphael’s installation, “Bling Love,” in the Window on Broad. Alas my daytime view doesn’t quite capture its sizzle.

The ceramic objects glint with pewter glaze, each one nestled in a felt and satin-ribbon wall of boxes and bows, all pinky and orangy make-up colors.

The staging is like the oooh la la windows almost good enough to eat displays I pass all the time at Douglas, where items like tubes of lipstick and grooming brushes are transformed into gotta-have glamor.

With Christmas just around the corner, ’tis the season for this installation, which raises questions about value, luxury, self-ornamentation, commerce, and sex appeal. Perhaps the questions are not much of a surprise; but in this case, the medium is indeed the message.

Raphael, who has had apprenticeships at both the Fabric Workshop and Museum and Kohler, is a 2004 MFA from Cranbook in ceramics.

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