My still life paintings examine contemporary constructions of identity through consumption and aestheticization of ideologies. Every object tells a story about its owner and itself—personal histories become embedded in them alongside politics of production and access. In my work, objects are anthropomorphized, becoming actors in staged interactions that ask the viewer to contemplate an ambivalence about sensory and aesthetic pleasure. When does pleasure bring us real fulfillment, and when does it defy our expectations, leaving us disillusioned? What is the nature of the desire that moves us to seek pleasure? When is it authentic and when is it imposed by capitalism?

I portray pleasure both in subject and in materiality of paint. The cleft of a ripe tomato or the orifice of a halved melon welcome innuendo, but are rivaled in their sensuality by the tactile rendering of a paper bag or a roll of masking tape. Compositions recontextualize classical nature morte tropes with contemporary consumer products, family heirlooms, and thrift store kitsch. A reverence for the quotidian dissolves the distinction between banality and profundity.

I paint from photographs created through a combination of physically constructed still lifes and digital collage. These manipulated images defy the visual logic of consistent light sources and perspective, creating subtle surrealism. Uncanniness makes objects seem conspicuous, inviting deeper inquiry into their allegorical meaning and bringing up questions of artifice versus reality. These questions are reflected in references to lifestyle images on social media and millennial-targeted advertising.

Working in dialogue with the tradition of trompe l’oeil painting, I explore the paradox of the simultaneous legibility and deception of illusion. Representational images are an exciting invitation for skepticism—the harder someone tries to convince you of something, the more suspect they become. Fixation on depicting surface implies interiority; obsession with capturing the “truth” suggests alternate meanings. 

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