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Still life composition research

Looking at the work of Audrey Flack for composition ideas as her still life painting have a number of interesting messages and symbols to decode within them. Her work includes everyday objects like fruit, perfume bottles, make up and flowers.

Audrey Flack is right that the vision has changed. Many of today’s artists are creating work with a very feminine feel, and with very feminist messages! We can thank her for being one of the pioneers of such artwork. She is one of the many women who worked to make this possible.

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Even amongst the other pioneers of photorealism Flack encountered adversity. Her subject matter was considered too feminine, too emotional for the seemingly never-ending stream of masculine cars, empty and passionless streets, and coolly-toned portraits of her contemporaries. As Flack stated in regards to such criticism, “I painted what was around me and what I was interested in. This was then deemed “feminine” subject matter. I just happened to be a woman”. To an extent, I agree with critics on this. Flack’s work is arguably very feminine. The subject matter are objects generally owned by women and many of her paintings have feminist undertones. However, this became one of the main insults directed towards her work as critics and contemporaries insinuated that her paintings were somehow “too feminine” to be photorealist, too tied to her emotions.

I really enjoy Camilla Bagna’s colour palette of grey, purple, pink and yellow. I think they work really well in harmony with each other.

Camilla Bagna Painting, Human figure, Acrylic, 100x80x3.5cm “Pluto and Proserpina”, executed between 1621 and 1622 by Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, captures the moment when Pluto, god of the underworld, abducts Proserpina, daughter of Zeus, and carries her back to the underworld to be his wife. The artist choses to focus on the breath taking detail of the dimpling of Proserpina’s flesh as Pluto’s fingers dig into her thigh and waist, and to add a typical vanitas symbol – flowers – which through their vibrant colours contrast the harshness of the Baroque marble sculptural group.

Painting, Still life, Acrylic, 80x80x3cm The artist juxtaposes antique silverware and succulents as a contemporary symbol of the modern day vanitas. Acrylic on raw canvas with gloss varnish finish.

The works of Margriet Smulders look like abstract compositions swarmed with colours and undefined forms, shapes. On a second look, we realize these are floating flowers, appearing to be on the edge of disintegration, posed on mirrors, for example. She is considered one of the most successful still life photographers.

I find her colour palette and tonal use of purple very elegant.

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