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Still Life

By Bill Harrison, written on the occasion of my new works on still life


"Constantly we want to either 'possess' or 'abandon'. The more challenging and sweeter way is to find that elusive balance between ownership and renouncement; the mysterious middle place where we let go of a thing even as we embrace it."

-- Klaus Mann, Der Vulkan

The term 'still life' embodies opposing qualities. Still, on the one hand, describes the frozen nature of objects and their representations. Life, on the other, alludes to the vitality evoked by the very miracle of their existence. 

In creating a still life, an artist solidifies the living and simultaneously brings to life the inanimate. In observing a still life we are confronted with this dichotomy. We observe a two dimensional and static representation. Yet we also feel the vitality inherent to the subject.

An entity has its own essential presence. An image or representation attempts to express this. Yet only we, the artists and observers, can bridge the gap between entity and image. As creators and perceivers we feel a sense of vitality, that can touch on heartbreak, as we embrace the calm stillness of an entity's captured image while at the same time we open ourselves to the unknowable mystery of it's existence.

San Francisco, March 2015



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