Memento Mori (2018)
Memento Mori (2018), a series of 31 works on paper; watercolor, carbon black, conté crayon, pencil, photographs; each 48cm x 33cm.
Venice invites reflections on mortality, so it’s an ideal place for memento mori. These works are still lives. In Italian, the term for “still life” is natura morta – literally “dead nature.” The works in the Memento Mori series combine photographs with painting, a practice that stems from an earlier series called Formulas for Communication. Each piece is a dialogue among three layers. The first layer is a painted background, a primary impulse to start; the second layer is a painted or drawn gesture. The materials include dry pigments mixed with gum arabic and drawings made with carbon paper. The third layer is a photograph that obscures part of the painted and drawn image. The resulting dialogue is a play between internal and external: I see something external, internalize it as a bodily gesture that is then externalized through paint, pigment or pencil. The photograph also internalizes the external world, but fixes it as a representation with definite boundaries.
The series was produced during an artist residency at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, Italy.