Still Life with Packaging
Although intended as indicators of wealth and sober good taste, still life images also show a great deal about how food was processed and consumed. Displayed alongside dead chickens and bloody game, the fruit and vegetables of the 16th century were often wilted, dirty and occasionally crawling with insects. It is easy to imagine their origins in the farmer’s field or kitchen garden.
Fast forward 400 years and exotic fruits have become everyday fare: coming from places we have never visited and cannot imagine. Wrapped in a membrane of plastic and preserved in massive chillers, the audience will experience these grocery items with very few traces of how they arrived on the shelves of our supermarkets.
Created with the same dedication to razor sharp realism as the old masters, the viewer’s experience of the images is interrupted by the industrialized textures and tones created by plastic packaging, so these everyday grocery items will look beautiful and sumptuous, but also distorted and otherworldly.
This sharpness, and the white backgrounds reminiscent of botanical illustration rather than still life, isolate the everyday food items in a way that gives space to the audience to enjoy their stunning colours, shapes and textures.
This series was exhibited alongside drawings by Louis Bouvier, David Poolman, and Kerri Reid as part of Onions, Life and Hotdogs on Parade, at Zalucky Contemporary, June 10 - July 15, 2017.