This original oil from around 1860
is thought to be a portrait of young Oscar Wilde.
The frame, original to the piece, is covered in carvings
of the flower Oscar holds in his hand, a visual identifier
Oscar used throughout his life, an important part of his style guide.
Oscar’s mother crafted him to be a celebrity
just as Colonel Parker would later craft Elvis. In so doing, Speranza
launched our present culture of carefully sculpted celebrity personas.
Michael Jackson, Madonna, Paris Hilton and many others
owe their fame, in part, to the mother of the boy with the flower.
From the wizard’s private collection.