Still lifes served with lush gruesomeness
Large-scale photos explore beauty, violence
Still life painting has often had an allegorical agenda. The resplendent, sometimes picked-over spreads in 17^th -century Dutch still lifes could be read as a moral injunction against gluttony. Other still lifes of the era, featuring skulls and rotten food, cautioned viewers about life’s quick passage. Rendered with lush hyper-realism, these works pull you in with their loveliness before they pierce you with their message.