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 balance.
In the original painting - a study between life and death, dark and light. A skull and an hourglass running out remind you that you will someday die. A crown of wheat perhaps references the harvest, a common end of life theme. Vanitas paintings were a cautionary tale against the vanities of earthly goods and pleasures.
But all around this grim symbolism is life - pink flowers, various insects, and bubbles. It was such a fantastic contrast that I was instantly enamored. This painting represented to me the stark duality within myself, and I wanted to create my own version.
I create art with heavy, often macabre themes. Yet I use colorful flowers as my main visual language. As a youth who experienced a great deal of loss, I expressed my internal darkness and relationship with grief through my mode of dress. The older I became, the more I started to get my darkness out through art, and the less I wanted to present myself in that way.
I am pastel-clad, friendly, kind, and bright-hearted. A bit of a departure from my art full of skulls and shadow. I wanted to make this piece for any other person who feels the same as I do - like a beautiful spring bloom, planted in grave dirt.
Information on print quality and care can be found here.