Repeating Art History: Influence and Allegory

Sisyphus Jelly Doughnuts, 24″ x 20″ O/C, $1600 CAD

Although the image above is of my most recently completed painting, Sisyphus Jelly Doughnuts, this is not a blog post that comes to any conclusions or announces any new events. Actually this one is just about some of the research and influences I am looking at as I journey through my current direction in the studio.

Obviously some of my research involves baking or buying delicious treats to use as still life props. Definitely a bit of a conflict of interest going on here. However for the most part, being an artist and talking about the psychological effects of long term caloric restriction through art means I am doing a lot more research into art history than into recipes.

Mesa (Clara Peeters)

To begin with I am looking at the often trivialized history of still life painting from the symbolic breakfast pieces of the Flemish god-mother of the genre, Clara Peeters, to the 20th century commercial culture influenced art of the Pop movement.

Tentoonstelling van werk Claes Oldenburg (USA) in Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam Cla, Bestanddeelnr 923-1635

That covers the form and some of the content related to my interest in still life and specifically still life incorporating food, but then there is the psychological and moral aspects of health and diet culture that impact our relationship with food and our bodies. For that I am looking at Greek krater art, the Northern Renaissance art of Hieronymus Bosch , and the work of the 20th century Surrealists, for their interest in depicting the other world of the subconscious.

Hieronymus Bosch - The Seven Deadly Sins (detail) - WGA2503

So that’s where I’m at now, who do you think I should be looking at for research?