Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Justine Reyes - Still Life Photographs

Photograph by Justine ReyesStill life with banana, purse and change by Justine Reyes

I've always had a thing for Dutch and Flemish still lifes and who wouldn't! The lighting, the detail and the philosophical meanings. These are paintings that can keep me occupied for hours. In fact, we used to have a large reproduction of a Dutch flower painting on the inside of our toilet door for many years. And now I'm fortunate enough to live within a few miles of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, which houses my favourite collection of Dutch and Flemish still lifes and flower paintings.

The taking of a still life photograph is a difficult task to do, without bumping into cliches. And to actually find a beautiful still life photograph is very rare indeed. The photographs below are by Justine Reyes who has produced some glorious images and created a collection she calls "Vanitas".

But there's more to this artist than still lifes, she has many strings to her bow and I recommend you have a good look around her web site, I loved the "Home, away from home" series, go and see for yourselves.

Photograph by Justine ReyesStill life with cup and melon

Photograph by Justine ReyesStill life with still life book and figs

Photograph by Justine ReyesStill life with tea set, picture frame and cake

Photograph by Justine ReyesStill life with chicken game and flowers

Photograph by Justine ReyesStill life with buttons and rind

Photograph by Justine ReyesStill life with pomegranate and birds


  1. The mundane aspect of some of the articles in her photos elevate them. Reyes' use of light and color are exquisite. Thanks!

  2. I looked at every little thing on her website last night. The Vanitas were absorbing because of the contrast of staging 20th century objects in old world ways (Flemish, as you pointed out). In reading her narrative (and I thank her for her narratives) I learned the objects had belonged to her grandmother, and that explained the palpable tenderness in the still lifes.

    Her crocheted hangings are amazing, especially when you see how long she has worked on them and what the stiches mean. They bring to mind a piece of art I saw at the art museum in Reno Nevada in 2008. It was by Irish artist, Katie Holten, a large crocheted piece in black yarn splashed across a white wall. She crocheted it as she traveled to represent the carbon footprint she left on the environment.

    The Home, Away From Home portraits were, and forgive me for using this word twice in one week, evocative. Most of my childhood was spent as the only child in a gaggle of adults and elderly realtives and their unusual friends (oh, the characters!). All of that old guard is gone now, and I find myself increasingly protective of their memory and anything that reminds me of my earlier life. I am not living in the past, but "what was and who was" are the main ingredients of "me." Outside of what the portraits caused to bubble up inside of me, I love them for their honesty. The beauty of people, especially those with mileage, being photographed as they are. I hope to have the courage to be photographed that way myself. I am, as one of my favorite songs states, "Unphotographable," a bit of a Funny Valentine. I have never liked photographs of myself, but perhaps I would if I could see my soul in them.



Related Posts with Thumbnails

Google Plusone