Oil on wood panel
48" x 48"
According to Norman Bryson, still life painting is “at a level of existence where events are not at all large-scale, momentous events of History, but the small-scale, forgettable acts of bodily survival and self-maintenance”. It is with this thought in mind that I painted flowers, in part as a form of self-maintenance; and as impeachment trials lead to a global pandemic and racial justice protests, the paintings grew to respond to the events of history unfolding, through the overlooked and humble still life.
The two large oil on wood panel flower paintings include tributes to individuals whose lives had become public through their own acts or the acts of others perpetrated against them. Wanting to address the power of the individual and the collective, the flower arrangements; large, diverse, symbolic and larger than life, are still life paintings that paint a portrait of “momentous events of history” while honoring the individual whose private life became public. The paintings harken back to baroque still life painting, employing symbolism and color devices that create austere arrangements imbued with cultural signifiers and timely juxtapositions between individual and group, personal and public, joyous and sad.