Wednesday, December 30, 2009


  I just bought this painting. It’s called “Still Life with City Scape No. 2.” The artist is Aaron Morgan Brown, formerly of Wichita, Kansas. This is a fairly typical painting by him in that he likes to combine highly incongruous elements, such as placing an electric mixer next to a statue of Cupid (?) and an orange both beneath a Tiffany lamp. What I really like about this painting though is the way that he suggests the interpenetration of realms we normally keep separate. Most obvious is the way that the room has no wall and it appears that a car is about to  drive out of it while another car is about to come in. Little less obvious is painting of the bird, a wild creature captured and immobilized on a canvas framed in gilt and hung on an invisible wall. I am interested also in the fact that the objects “in” the room—the elements of the still life—have been painted in a very precise manner, with clear-cut sharp outlines, while the street scene has been rendered in a much softer somewhat more impressionistic style. This pleases me. It makes the inner seem so much more real than the outer at the same that it undercuts the distinction between them. Perhaps this painting is an allegory of consciousness itself.  

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