Vanitas - Dice Pyramid, 2017/2020
Vanitas – Magnolia grandiflora Seed Pods, 2020
Dimensions: 850 x 850 mm
Edition of 5
These works explore issues surrounding perception, memory, and the construction of reality. The work, which at ﬁrst glance appears to be a studio photograph, is a digital fabrication in which high- resolution scans of individual objects have been painstakingly fused into a virtual space. The labour-intensive process is conceptually signiﬁcant to the artist in the way its obsessive nature and deceptive output mirrors a society bombarded by false narratives and consumed by the quest for an unattainable perfectionism.
Content, compositional devices and aesthetic choices directly reference 17th century Flemish and Dutch Vanitas paintings. In those works, arrangements of valuable and highly symbolic objects conveyed the worldliness, prosperity and, to those who understood the language, the piousness of the patron. The 17th century was a time of great material wealth in Northern Europe and the Vanitas painting served cross purposes for the nobility and upwardly mobile merchant class. Ostensibly they acted as memento mori, reminders of human vanity, mortality, and the need for redemption, stressing that worldly possessions, pleasures, and achievements were worthless when one was confronted with death. Ironically, in their skilled depictions of precious objects, they were themselves objects of pleasure—status symbols whose success was dependent on their aesthetic artistry, technical virtuosity, and coded iconography.
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