Modern Vanitas I
Style: Renaissance Art
Influence: Renaissance, Vanitas
Model: “Still Life with Bouquet and Skull” by Adriaen van Utrecht
One of my earlier pieces. Trying sfumato and chiaroscuro, I treated this piece more as a visual for what I learned in Art History rather than just a composition piece with no concept. Carrying over the theme of meaningless in life, the obsession with death and transience is represented by the skull. The hourglass contains the miniature skull in the same way time contains life. Unable to the be reset due shattered glass, the hourglass has faster-running water in place of sand, showing the single chance of life and how fast we seem to rush towards the end. Even the beautiful but ephemeral rose growing along the gilded hourglass frame plays into the themes of the superficial “forever” and surface value versus the reality. Balloons and bubbles, representing happiness and innocence, epitomizes our innocence and the fleeting moments we must enjoy before they’re gone. The artist’s hand (or stomach) appears through the rotting tacos.
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