Updated: Feb 12
oil paint on birch wood cradled panel
I could wax eloquent upon my muses... OR I could just give you the bullet points: -Gucci's collaboration with artist Ignasi Monreal
- Harry Styles (always)
-Ocean's 8 (diammonnds)
-1700-1800's aristocratic paintings (you know the ones with lace + silks)
-Metropolitan Market's french fries (my true love worked there)
-Editorials. Editorials that sell jewelry or food commonly pair the two together. These types of photos are probably the closest thing I've ever seen to my pieces. I've seen a lot of food paintings and a lot of jewelry paintings. Maybe it's a little like stealing, but that's what every artist does anyway. Every set up/ composition is my own.
Take a look for yourself: here.
Then I started mining my local thrift shops, antique shops and garage sales. I was looking for costume jewelry that was fancy looking and something to hold the French fries. I did not have the glass swan in mind, he was a complete surprise. I found the emerald bracelet and the swan at Luluz's on Broadway. That is providence, or serendipity if you like. The rings were mined from Goldie's which also resides on Broadway.
The "curtain" is an old satin 80's dress my mom had kept. She (a seamstress) tacked fringe to the edge of the dress and hung it over a garment rack to make it look like a working curtain. I asked a friend to model for me, I asked my boyfriend to pick up the French fries and I bought ring pops from Fred Meyers. The whole thing was orchestrated in my tiny studio (a small room in my parent's home).
3) Makin' it happen
Okay so first- I had the idea. I probably did some sketches (always crap + no where close to the end result)
The idea was a luxurious setting with French fries and a fancy hand reaching for them. I thought, this'll be funny. Then I gathered the supplies. After weeks to months of that, I was ready to shoot my idea.
The shoot probably took several hours. At one point I didn't think it would ever work. The composition just wasn't working. It was incredibly difficult to make the dress function like a curtain. In the end, I still ended up editing it as I painted. It was probably a coincidence but the shoot was complicated by illness befalling me. It was as if the stress literally made me sick with fever. It took me, the model, my boyfriend and my mother to finally get the image that I ended up painting. It took a serious amount of team work.
Why did I spend 100 hours making this painting in particular? Why is it important? Is it important? Why do I continue in this theme if it's secretly not important? Did I know going into it that it was important? (you can substitute the word important for many evaluative words like- meaningful, significant, relevant, worthwhile).
To be honest: I didn't know if it would be important. I don't know if it is important. Maybe it isn't important.
However, what I do know is:
-it is a good composition
-it is visually satisfying
-it is relatable and often nostalgic for viewers
-it was an idea that I felt like I needed to paint
Since creating it, I've found meaning behind the composition. I've essentially made up a story of what it means to me. But almost always I'll paint something because of the way the idea feels, not necessarily the narrative I'll discover later. I believe in this work and for whatever reason so do others, so that makes it important, I think.
Afternoon Snack probably won't change the world, but it can add beauty and enjoyment. It can grace your walls and inspire you to create. Maybe your narrative isn't the same as mine but that is one of the beauties of art.