Image credit: John Tsantes | Text credit: Amanda Kolson Hurley

“In his paintings, the artist Darren Waterston often returns to the complex relationship between beauty and decay—the moment when a flower fades or a tantalizing piece of fruit starts to go rotten. He has now explored the theme on a much larger scale, with a dark homage to one of the most famous interiors in art history. Filthy Lucre, on display until January 2017 at the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., is a full-scale, detailed replica of James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s Peacock Room (1876–77), a richly decorated dining room crammed with porcelain that Whistler called his “harmony in blue and gold.”

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