Paulette Tavormina’s Secretive Still Lifes
Paulette Tavormina lives and works in New York City. Amidst the bustle that defines the city, she can often be found at one of the city’s many farmers markets searching for the perfectly imperfect flora that characterize her photographs. Her arrangements often recall the sumptuous detail of seventeenth century Old Master still life painters and serve as intensely personal interpretations of timeless, universal stories. With a painterly perspective reminiscent of Francisco de Zurbaran, Adrigen Coorte and Giovanna Garzoni, Tavormina creates worldly still lives.
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.
American, b. 1949, Rockville Center, New York, based in New York, New York