PDN Photo of the Day

“On Ripeness and Rot”

Kimberly Witham’s art history-inspired still lifes are locally sourced, filled with fruits and vegetables from her garden and road kill from near her New Jersey home. Her images are on view in “REAP,” an exhibition at Filter Space in Chicago that runs until February 17. Like the seventeenth century Dutch paintings they reference, Witham’s images explore the bounty of nature and its closeness to death. But where the Dutch still lifes tend to feature fish and game along with lush arrangements of flowers, Witham’s photographs depict creatures that lived and died in the suburbs. A raccoon shares a table with a bowl of scarred fruit and a shriveled eggplant. A squirrel is posed as if asleep in a glass dish above a cut lemon on a doily. Witham writes that the paintings she is inspired by “serve as both a celebration of beauty and a reminder of the inevitability of death. They are simultaneously seductive and grotesque.” With her own photographs, “the ephemeral nature of my subject matter requires me to work only with what is available on any given day,” producing images that are a “personal meditation on beauty, fecundity, fragility and the inevitable march of time.”

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Conceptual/Still Life

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