Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fifty roses.....2

This is the second rose still life.  Some might think it looks frightfully like the first.

Well it does and it doesn't.  The challenge with series is to push them along; to see how many variations on a theme work.  Painters often paint variations on a theme and over the years, they are seen to stand on their own as distinct ideas.  So time will tell.

The idea in Roses 1 was the memento mori, mostly:  Living and dead roses, the straight razor, my old friend death in the form of the skull.

The idea here in Roses 2 is also life and death: The fact that we pass this way once, so make the most of it.

When I recall the idea of mortality, one of my first profound experiences of the idea was through Shakespeare's sonnets.  He devoted an enormous amount of ink to the idea of "cheating" death by living a full life:  for him, one could create children, write, and have faith.  Those were three ways of creating a kind of immortality.  You still didn't get out of it alive, but you left a legacy.

So my second rose still life is a homage to Shakespeare, hence the complete works;  the eyeglasses (symbols of knowledge), the prickly rose stem (it doesn't always come easy) and the dead roses say it doesn't last forever.

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