Having originally trained as a painter, my photography is deeply rooted in the practice and history of painting. In my latest series of photographs, titled Raft of the Medusa, I utilize the interrelated languages of painting and photography to examine our collective anxieties of social collapse. I am interested in 16th and 17th century master paintings as cultural wish symbols, and specifically the Vanitas genre of still life, which combine rotting food with various objects to emphasize the ephemerality of sensual experience.
The photographs are produced in staged environments and depict unnerving scenes of decadence. Profuse quantities of food are combined to create a surreal world that is both beautiful and grotesque.
Hand painted scenes or reproductions of famous paintings are used as backdrops to further emphasize the contrast between the idealized depictions in the backgrounds and the entropic arrangements in front of them. Seen together, these contradictory juxtapositions lend the work a dark, abject humor which both agitates and moderates our anxiety of collapse through overabundance.