Heart of Darkness Exhibition
“And the sky cast an eye on this marvellous meat
As over the flowers in bloom.
The stench was so wretched that there on the grass
You nearly collapsed in a swoon.”
— Charles Baudelaire, from The Flowers of Evil
A selection of these ‘floral’ still life compositions will be on display at The Heart of Darkness Art Exhibition in Manitowoc, WI. I will have limited-edition archival prints available for purchase, signed and numbered. There will also be work on display by some truly amazing dark artists, so if you’re in the area please come on out!
These ‘floral’ still life images draw a certain amount of inspiration from Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil — that infamous volume of poetry dealing with sexuality and death that was condemned as an “insult to public decency” back in its day. I share with Baudelaire an interest in finding the beauty that sometimes blossoms from decay. This intersection is perhaps most explicit in Baudelaire’s poem A Carcass — quoted at the top of post — that describes the author’s meditation on the beauty and eroticism of a rotting animal carcass. On a visual level these images continue in my efforts to reinterpret the iconography and philosophy of 17th century “golden age” Dutch still life through a more contemporary (and macabre) lens.