Mz. Icar's reimagining of iconic women

VALUE: In terms of Iconography

14 Aug 2020 Brooklyn
Lil' Kim covered in diamonds and records
Image by Mz. Icar featuring Erin Patrice O'Brien

LOCATION: Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 4 Beach | Get Directions


This work explores the theme of ‘value’ in terms of inspiration and fuel for future ideas. Mz.Icar’s hyper-realistic portraits portray iconic women enveloped with societal troves of wealth. They are notes of what was to come as these women went on to influence and to disrupt culture.

This project includes collages from found archival media, Mz. Icar’s imagery and from portraits by the photogra- pher Erin Patrice O’Brien. The Mz. Icar collective carefully went through O’Brien’s negatives and contact sheets finding source material to work with and to re-imagine.

The images were re-printed, cut-up, collaged, re-composed, and re-photographed depicting the subjects almost as goddesses with infinite potential, value, wealth, and worth. Most of the women featured were photographed mid-career and these images document a particular point in the journey of their careers.

Mz. Icar’s work thematically deals with re-imagining pasts and futures, this project included. This work explores the positive impact of representation and the lasting inspi- rational value of being able to see one’s self in another.

Featuring: Mz. Icar featuring Erin Patrice O’Brien


Mz. Icar is an anonymous art collective. We were established in 2018. Our membership is comprised of an illustrator, photographer, designer, prop stylist, street artist, and collage artist. We started the collective to create works that celebrate Women, global Blackness, and Play. We create narratives in the form of mixed-media street, art and fine art, that explore histories and imagine the best case scenario future, from the perspective of women, and people of color.

Our work has been exhibited at Pyramid Hill Museum in Hamilton, Ohio, Culture House in Washington, D.C., Welancora Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, The Leroy Neiman Gallery at Columbia University, New York, Westwood Gallery, New York, i-20 Gallery, New York, New York, WNYC Radio’s Green Space, New York, New York, Rush Gallery, New York, New York Andenken Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands, SXSW, Austin, Texas, and as part of Art for Obama: Manifest Hope and the Campaign for Change, Democratic Convention Gallery Exhibition. We have done site-specific installation work at Etsy’s headquarters, Publicis, and branded art projects for Ms. Lauryn Hill’s world tour, Essence Magazine and Nickelodeon.

Our members have been featured and written about in The New York Times, the New York Post, Gawker, and The Wall Street Journal. We have spoken on panels for The Asian American Art Alliance, Corridor Gallery, the Black Futures Now project, Toronto, Canada, the New York Film Academy, and Craft Magazine.


What objects do you see, and what do they symbolize or represent?

Name the layers you see in the image. Which do you think the artist began with? How do you think they built the image up?

What do you think the artist was trying to say by collaging these images and objects together?