Photo By Gail
After his January 1889 lease from the hospital in Arles, Vincent Van Gogh embarked on a series of still lifes, including crab studies. This painting my show the same crab upright and on its back. Parallel strokes sculpt the creature’s form on an exuberant, sea-like surface.
Photographed in the National Gallery in London
Photos By Gail
Does this look to you like a Pink Soda Can is wearing Pink Sunglasses? Because that’s what it looks like to me. This photo was absolutely not staged but part of real-life scenario I encountered near the downtown intersection of West 57th Street and Broadway. After a pause-and-crouch to snap a few pics, I was on my way again!
Just remember: Littering is not cool!
Photo By Gail
Many of Winslow Homer’s images of the Bahamas evoke the idea of the island as a paradise created especially for tourists. Enjoying local fruits was perceived as a fundamental luxury of the visitor experience, as one contemporary guidebook noted: “Oranges to daily break our fast in the morning, and delightfully crown our afternoon meal, are felt to be a necessity. Without them the most elaborate feast fails to satisfy.” This vibrant watercolor, Oranges On a Branch (1885), a rare still life by the artist, offers a complete sensory experience — ripe citrus, bright green leaves, and fragrant blossoms are bathed in warm sunlight.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art as Part of Winslow Homer: Crosscurrents, on Exhibit Through July 31st, 2022.
All Photos By Gail
Like most still lifes, Tom Wesselmann’s Still Life #57 (1969–70) presents a number of ordinary objects — including an orange, a bouquet of flowers, a light switch, a radio, and a checked tablecloth. The artist spent three years developing this monumental work. The “main difficulty . . . and the one that took so long to resolve, was cropping or not cropping the radio,” he said. “I wanted to crop it to keep it more in a painting reference rather than something like a stage set.”
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.
Photo By Gail
Giorgio de Chirico’s work represents an unexpected form of classicism in early avant-garde painting. The Philosopher’s Conquest (1913 – 14), one of six in a series, combines a Mediterranean cityscape with familiar still-life objects that appear in many of the artists’s paintings, including a classical arcade, a cannon and cannonballs, a clock, chimney and a train. The stage set is an Italian piazza, virtually deserted except for the menacing, shadowy figures outside the edge of the scene. Rendered with a matter-of-fact — though intentionally crude — precision, de Chirico’s paintings seem rife with meaning but are resolutely enigmatic. Indeed, by juxtaposing incongruous objects, he sought to produce a metaphysical art, one that “resembles . . . the restlessness of myth.”
Photographed in The Art Institute, Chicago.