Among some of the most famous sculptures in Rome is the 18th-century statue of Saint Cecilia, which shows the young martyr at the time of her death, with three ax wounds visible on her neck. “It’s everything I love—incredibly beautiful and almost painful to look at,” says Rachel Feinstein, 41, whose latest work, on view in November at the Gagosian outpost in the Italian city, was inspired by the religious effigy. Having grown up in Miami in the eighties—with, as she puts it, its “weird combo of sailing lessons and drug cartels”—Feinstein believes that backdrop informed her fascination with both beauty and decay. At her wedding in 1997 to the painter John Currin, she recalls, she stood at the altar sobbing—not from sheer joy, “but because the moment was inching away from me.” These days, says the artist, pictured here with part of the set she created for Marc Jacobs’s fall 2012 show, “I feel like life is speeding by.” And despite her perennially elegant appearance on the art-party scene, Feinstein admits that her style is decidedly “rushed.” The last time she bought new clothes was three years ago, following the birth of her third child, Flora. “Thank God I’m friends with Marc [Jacobs]. He literally takes pity on me and sends stuff over.”
Feinstein wears Marc Jacobs cashmere and faux-fur jacket, silk blouse, wool jacquard skirt, hat, stole, and shoes. Tabio socks.