Still Life with Photographs and Skull from the series Vanitas, 2009
C-Print, 16" x 20"
Taking inspiration from Dutch Vanitas paintings, these photographs incorporate personal artifacts within the traditional construct of still life. Pairing objects that belonged to my grandmother with my own possessions speaks to the concept of memory, familial legacy and the passage of time. The incorporation of modern elements such as the Saran wrap, plastic, sugar packages etc, as well as the use of photography itself add an additional layer of nostalgia and irony when viewed within the historical framework of Vanitas painting. Both the decomposition of the natural (rotting fruit and wilting flowers) and the break down of the man-made objects, reference the physical body, life’s impermanence and the inevitability of death. My work examines identity, mortality and the longing to hold on to things that are ephemeral and transitory in nature. All images were shot using a 4x5 and 8x10 view camera and are all traditional C-Prints sized 16”x20”.