Still Life. 1970 Oil on Canvas 50” X 60”


“Still Life”, "OPIA!" and "Barbara and the Fortune Teller" being each a female protagonist, are counterpoint to the three male gender paintings “Triumphal Return”, “Celebrator” and “Ah!”. Techniques similar to Triumphal Return were used.

Chronologically, "Still Life" was painted immediately after "Triumphal Return". My main interest in executing this painting was an attraction toward technical pursuit. In spite of then contemporary tendency of contempt for technical aspects of art, the influence of the milieu in which my artistry was cultivated seems usually to win the battle.

In that milieu, Balzac's "Unknown Masterpiece" still holds ultimate mystery (and victory at the same time) of technical virtuosity. What I really wanted to know through painting "Still Life" was my own limitations against this literally external pursuit.

The objects in "Still Life", were collected chiefly because of various challenging aspects for technical execution (e.g., peeling on back board, intricately woven straw of the hat, the many layered effects of transparent materials etc.) The thematic pathos is that of the so-called "working class people" whose lifetime ticks away while working through major hours of the day, and finally the major days of life itself.

In that life, the life envisioned as "fantastic" seems to come only vicariously, as symbolized by the party girl in the photograph. Yet, "still" it is a life - yet, so still. Thus the title of the painting.

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