In this piece I fragment, draw and stitch together an image of a dutch flower painting by Jan Van Huysum titled Still Life with Flowers and Fruit. I explore my urge to evade endings through making, and question the ways a copy both succeeds and fails to preserve the original. I add my own spin on the limitless iterations of the painting made possible by its digital copy. Once digitized, the work’s unique place in the world is exchanged for a reflection, an echo permeating and replicating indefinitely. In the cloud, it exists in infinite places simultaneously, yet the pixels on a screen don’t prolong the physical life of the painting any more than painting does for the individual flowers’ it represents. What endures is the artists’ view of the flower, warped and dragged into existence by their own hand. Hundreds of years since his own death, his painting remains, and its digital likeness will endure beyond that.
Therefore a fraction of a reflection of a translation of his life, his perspective, remains.
Through the act of drawing I connect with the image, exploring the worlds which exist within. I filter the image through myself, distancing and distorting the original to make it my own; to keep alive some part of my experience, separate from my physical self. Sewing the work together I recall the act of Frankenstein stitching together flesh from separate bodies to make his monster. Similar to the way Van Huysum painted flowers in the same vase regardless of the impossibility of their coexistence in reality. An element of the grotesque residing within the beautiful, his imaginary bouquets are an exhumation and resurrection, a flaunting of art’s resistance to the limits of reality and the confines of impermanence.