Paulette Tavormina
American, born 1949
Selected exhibitions
Seizing Beauty | Photographs by Paulette Tavormina,
Snite Museum of Art
Paulette Tavormina: Bodegón,
Robert Mann Gallery
Black & Bloom: Still Lifes,
Robert Klein Gallery

Paulette Tavormina creates lush images that look more like 17th-century Old Masters’ paintings than the digital photographs they truly are. Intending to call to mind Baroque still lifes by the likes of Francisco de Zurbarán, Giovanna Garzoni, and Caravaggio, her carefully composed images balance light and shadow, life and decay. Tavormina scours farmers’ markets and flower shops for the “perfectly imperfect” subjects to populate her lavish table settings. Within these scenes of abundance, memento mori are evident in the form of bruised fruit, wilting flowers, spoiled oysters, and other reminders of the inevitability of death and decomposition.