still life

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Art

Sun-Drenched Domestic Environments Built From Carefully Painted Straight Lines by Guy Yanai

September 24, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Israeli oil painter Guy Yanai captures peaceful moments featuring architecture and plants. Often merging indoor and outdoor perspectives, Yanai presents placid scenes devoid of human figures. Instead, scraggly houseplants and open doors and windows act as visual focal points, suggesting the presence of human life that may have potted the plant or propped open the door. While Yanai’s subject matter is clearly representational, he works in a highly stylized manner, carefully building the volume of each painted form with perfectly straight horizontal and vertical lines that draw attention to the painting as object as well as a portal. In an interview with Culture Trip, Yanai shared:

As much as what I do is a physical thing, and in the end I make a physical object, the end-result in people’s brain is an abstract one. I would like some images to be kind of burned into people’s heads, so in this sense I don’t have a problem with people seeing images of my work online or on screens. It’s one more representation of that object, and it’s obvious that it only references the real painting.

Yanai’s solo show at Miles McEnery Gallery is on view through October 5, 2019 in New York City, and he will also have a solo booth through Praz-Delavallade at the Artissima contemporary art fair in Italy in early November. Explore more of the artist’s work on canvas, as well as monographs and collaborations with fashion labels, on his website and Tumblr.

 

 



Art

Glitched Paintings by Olan Ventura Give a Contemporary Twist to 17th Century Still Lifes

September 4, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

“Still Life of Flowers, Shells and Insects” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 76.2 x 101.6 cm. All images courtesy of the artist, the Working Animals Art Projects and Yavuz Gallery

Filipino artist Olan Ventura creates lavish acrylic paintings in the tradition of 17th century Dutch still lifes. Replicating the smallest details of iconic works such as Jan Davidsz de Heem’s Vase of Flowers (c. 1660), Ventura veers off course with striking glitches and drips that shoot off the canvas edges, seeming to pull grapes, lobsters, and roses from the past into the present. A statement on Yavuz Gallery explains that Ventura is interested in identity, technology, popular culture. Ventura holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from University of the East, and has been exhibiting in solo shows for the last 15 years. His most recent show, Colour Feast, ran this spring at Yavuz Gallery in Singapore. Ventura keeps a low profile online, but you can explore more of his still life paintings on Yavuz’s website, and a wider range of his work on artnet. (via Hi-Fructose)

“Abundant Bouquet with Pomegranate” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 162.5 x 121.9 cm

“Still Life With Golden Goblet” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 121.9 x 137.2 cm

L: “Still Life with a Melon and Pears” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 45.7 x 61 cm / R: “Fruit Basket” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 45.7 x 61 cm

“Still Life of Flowers” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 101.6 x 76.2 cm

“Fruit Still Life” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 101.6 x 76.2 cm

Yavuz Gallery installation view

Yavuz Gallery installation view

 

 



Food Photography

Elegant Still Lifes of Luscious Fruits and Perfectly Ripe Vegetables Trapped Inside Plastic Packaging

May 28, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Spanish studio QUATRE CAPS usually focuses on architectural renderings, but for a recent series, titled Not Longer Life, the group turned their attention to the plastic in our food system. In each of the six images, classic still life paintings by artists including Claude Monet, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, and Juan Sánchez Cotán are given a contemporary update. Recognizable still life elements like strongly directed light and decorative fabrics are maintained. But the perishable fruit that traditionally symbolized the temporary nature of life is now cloaked in plastic preservatives like cling wrap, clamshell containers, and stretchy foam sleeves.

The studio explains to Colossal, “Thousands of products are being commercialized, doubling and tripling a synthetic skin or even worse, taking the place of their natural wrapping skin with a plastic package in order to ‘ease’ their consumption.” If you like this series, also check out the work of Suzanne Jongmans. You can explore more projects by  QUATRE CAPS on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

Update: a reader shared an insightful article that highlights the importance of pre-cut produce in increasing accessibility to nutritious food for people with limited dexterity.

 

 



Art Food

Pixelated Glitches Interrupt Painted Portraits of Victorian Families, Still Lifes, and Birds

November 13, 2018

Anna Marks

The Milan-based painter Aldo Sergio uses paint to warp perception, creating portraits and still life paintings which blur the boundary between the digital and the physical, and the traditional and the contemporary. In one of his paintings, three men in clerical clothing look inquisitively at a pixelated bunch of bananas, and in another parts of a Victorian family, from their faces to conventional garments, are pixelated in rectangular lines. In a third piece a couple poses before a selection of indoor houseplants while a hen with a blurred leg stands next to their feet.

Sergio uses traditional painting methods to capture portraits of Victorian families, bowls of fruit, and birds, and then distorts these objects by covering them in small ‘glitches.’ Sergio builds tensions between objects, people and space, and his carefully painted glitch-like malfunctions to give his artworks an unusual movement, making a stark contrast to the stillness and seriousness of traditional paintings.

His solo exhibition at Galleria Patricia Armocida in Milan runs until the 30th of November, 2018. You can see more of his pixelated paintings on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Food Photography

Photographer Brittany Wright Captures Foods in Colorful Gradients

April 27, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images © Brittany Wright

Photographer and food enthusiast Brittany Wright sets up intricate culinary still lifes that focus primarily on the differentiation of fruits’ and vegetables’ coloration. Wright captures a rainbow of colors in foods ranging from heaps of apples to carrots plucked freshly from the earth. Each photograph focuses on the produce against a stark white background, a way to display the food’s vibrant shades without distraction.

The Seattle-based photographer is fascinated by capturing the aging process of vegetable and fruits, displaying the variety of forms each piece takes during ripening and decay. Wright even includes fruit harvested from her own backyard, photographing raspberries both plump and shriveled.

Wright’s client list is diverse, including brands Dry Soda and Samsung as well as (appropriately) several farms. You can see more colorful gradients and food-based imagery on Wright’s Instagram. (via Junk Culture)

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Art

The Colored Pencil Drawings of Marco Mazzoni Depict the Cycles of Nature

April 22, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Milan-based artist Marco Mazzoni works almost exclusively with colored pencils to create intricate drawings that depict the cycles of nature and worlds based heavily in Italian folklore. One of his most frequent subjects are drawings of flora and fauna who seem to be consuming or living on top of the face of a woman whose eyes we never see. The artist says he consciously does not depict the eyes so the viewer doesn’t consider the artwork a portrait, but instead a still life where all elements have equal importance. Via Galleria Patricia Armocida:

Mazzoni weaves a world based on Italian folklore, made up of Janas and Cogas, female figures who, according to Sardinian beliefs, seduce, enchant, curse, and heal. His work is an homage to the secret art of healers; each drawing is saturated with metaphors that tell their story. The circular compositions, which allude to the cycles of Nature, depict medicinal and lysergic plants, pollinator butterflies and birds which drink their nectar, and hidden amidst leaves and wings emerge the faces of these women forced to hide their sensuality and their knowledge due to bigotry imposed by religion, accused of witchcraft because they are herbarie, herbalists. Female healers and midwives held an important role within the community. […] Marco Mazzoni underlines the importance of the interaction between the women and the plants by developing the subject that’s best known: the female face framed by flora and fauna, rendering it an icon. He reveals her innermost perceptions, memories scribbled on a diary page, highly imaginative visions of “impossible” animals, the fruit of ecstatic exploration of hallucinatory journeys. […] The result is a work which recounts the moment in which woman takes control of everything, in complete harmony with Nature.

Mazzoni currently has a solo show in Milan at Galleria Patricia Armocida which runs through May 4th, 2013. You can see more of his work over on Facebook.