American artist Eric Wert’s astounding and super realistic still lives and botanical studies feature lusciously enhanced, saturated colours and gradually emerging narratives. Evocative of two categories prominent in 17th century northern European painting, namely still lives and vanitas, Wert’s images have a defining contemporary edge. This consists of the artist’s obvious penchant for psychedelic colours, as well as unexpected twists in the handling of his subject matter.
Broken, tangled, upturned and knocked over, the plethora of fragile plants, vases and fruits, the main protagonists in Wert’s work, are painted to perfection yet exist in imperfect circumstances and states. This beautiful contradiction makes for a clever and sharp-witted approach towards a genre that might otherwise be considered as merely decorative and somewhat passé.
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