In my floral digital collage series called “Next of Kin” I look within to find out how strong forces such as love and loss can alter artist’s aesthetic, and ultimately steer their style within an all-together new direction. Underlying “Memento mori” theme of the transience of earthly matters flows through the work as flowers can be seen not only as having aesthetic appeal but also as metaphors of life itself. Within these modern still-life digital collages I have found a way to communicate a gamut of emotions that surround adverse times.
Personal interest in symbolic 16th century floral still-life paintings of Dutch origin amalgamates with vigorous abstract paintings that originated in many finger painting sessions with my toddler son. These two extreme examples of high and low art meet in the nebulous digital world where “repurposing” is the name of the game. The digital still-life series remixes the old with the new; the refined with the rudimentary; in creating a collection of prints. These poster prints have been used as the starting point of my latest opus of affordable art - fabric prints for the apparel and home decor industry. Still-life painting is a large art history genre that often allowed for symbolical representation of everyday objects such as flowers, food, home decor and personal wealth. From flamboyant, fine art examples (made available to creatives by Rijksmuseum) flowers are haphazardly cut away using digital means, then brought with missing pixels and parts into a new setting. Their hues are extremely saturated, their size enlarged to display the original crackling on the surface. Vector shapes allude to the digital tools used just as the cracuelure pattern alludes of the original oil paints used. The flowers’ delicately painted petals get lost in virulent and vibrant strokes of jewel hues. The original, balanced arrangements have been replaced with dynamic ones, while few stray geometric shapes allow for a visual “break” within the chaos for the eye to rest. Although digital art is often seen as manipulative, in this series there’s no attempt made to trick the eye. The process of creation becomes the final product; as the original painting has been photographed, uploaded, downloaded, cut, manipulated and reprinted on paper, textile, wood etc.
“Next of Kin” has become a personal memento of the past but also a glimpse into the future of my digital work.