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Remnants of our consumer culture keep finding their way into my work. Our visual lives are cluttered with packages, clothing and furnishings that come at us in a swirl of color and pattern. By picturing things that reflect the way we currently live and that we often overlook, I hope to update the conventions of still life. We acquire and discard constantly. Knowing that the objects I’m depicting are on their way to the recycling bin affects the way I paint them. This enables me to think about those items from a more complicated perspective. Underlying my scattering and gathering activity is an expression of both desire and loss.

Traditionally, still life paintings have portrayed items from the realm of the, utensils, dishes, flowers and other elements that celebrate the table.  These days, however, food often arrives packaged up, sealed and sanitized. Table tops, furniture and interior spaces become resting places for boxes and other detritus waiting to be sorted or discarded. Boxes are piled high to make room for more clutter.  What does all of this say about us? Through a continued focus on shape, pattern and color, I hope to translate what I see around me into works that articulate this dynamic reality of our visual culture.


Sydney Licht
January 2020