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Painting: Oil on Canvas, Cardboard.
Oil on canvas board.
I was hesitant to include a skull in this series of still lifes. A skull, especially a real skull (as opposed to a plastic), has too strong of a presence in comparison to other man-made objects I used in this series. I was thinking about a living person it belonged to, her life (I believe it’s a female skull), her appearance, maybe she was a beautiful woman. I didn’t have a goal to create a symbolic composition, dwelling on a theme of Vanitas or Memento mori. In this still life it’s just another formal object, with its unique shape, color. I used an artificial bouquet of flowers to further support the overall formal flavour of the composition.
Why still life?
Still life liberates me from narrativity. It enables me to let go of my urge to generate an opinion about the world. When I arrange objects for my still lifes I just let them be in a relationship with each other and the space around them. Then I become an observer, a spectator of the drama. It fascinates me how inanimate objects communicate so much motion in their stillness. The depiction of a moving object conveys only one direction, while that of a static object embodies the potential to move in any direction. A spectator unwittingly and subconsciously becomes a director, a decision maker for what might happen next, and what might have happened before.
This effect of static potentiality is widely used in classical Russian icons, which have roots in European pre-Renaissance art, where spiritual energy is the central idea.
Artist featured by Saatchi Art in a collection