Dave and I were asked to each provide a Vanitas painting for a larger, multi-artist project. While Dave already had one, I had to come up with something specifically for this project. The problem is that I'm not really down with the whole "endeavor is futile, life is fleeting, moan moan moan," message behind the vanitas genre. The vanitas painters were the 17th century's emo kids. I understand the historical context, but come on, we live to like seventy these days, no one dies of leprosy anymore (not in my neighborhood at least), and all the luxuries and pleasures we enjoy these days preclude the woe-is-me-I'll-be-in-my-room-with-a-single-lit-taper-contemplating-my-skull attitude.
I wanted to do a new take on the Vanitas theme. The thought of doing a dark and grim painting was not inspiring; I wanted to do something bright and colorful, even feminine. I didn't want to present death as scary and hideous. In addition to bright colors and flooding light, I included some seashells (representing birth) and white hydrangea blossoms (I don't know what they represent but they're awfully pretty and they make me think of spring).
Here is my vanitas painting in progress last week when I had an awesome camera on loan from a friend. Mine will be back in action soon, thank god, but it will be like getting back together with a fat, lazy and emotionally distant ex after having a fling with a toned cabana boy on vacation.
Here's a close up of the chompers:
NOM NOM NOM!