Vanitas I

This piece is based on a painting, Vanitas Still Life, by Jan Van Kessel the Elder, dating back to 1665/1670. What struck me about this painting was the sense of balance it evokes, both compositionally and thematically.

In the original painting, the objects featured include a skull and an hourglass with the sands running out. They are there to remind you that you will someday die. A crown of wheat perhaps references the harvest, another common end-of-life theme. Vanitas paintings were a cautionary tale against the vanities of earthly goods and pleasures. 

All around this grim symbolism is life - pink flowers, various insects, and bubbles. It was such a fantastic contrast that I was instantly enamored. Instantly I felt that this painting represented the faithful duality I know within myself, and I wanted to create my own version, and so this piece was born. A work that is dedicated to any other person who feels the same as I do: like a beautiful spring bloom, planted in grave dirt.

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