still life

Beauty & Violence: Ori Gersht's Art of History

December 27, 2012
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A squash and a cucumber cast dark shadows on a sill. Above, a pomegranate and a cabbage are suspended by a string against a deep black background. A sense of tension builds—a slice has been cut from the melon, suggesting the recent presence of an absent actor; the exposed fruits are displayed like targets. Finally, a bullet blasts through the scene and the pomegranate explodes into hundreds of seeds and red flesh. The obliterated fruit, still hanging from a string like a public hanging, careens from the impact in slow motion. 

Art & Botany: Translucent Roses & Underwater Butterflies

November 27, 2012
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Photographer Alexander James, who has worked with floral subjects for over 15 years, will go to any lengths necessary to get the shot, including submerging bouquets and fruit in a dark tank, rigging an underwater light, and even breeding butterflies in his studio. 

Art & Botany: Broken Flowers

October 14, 2012
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A flower's demise is a slow process—unless you're photographer Jon Shireman, in which case it happens with a quick pivot and a smash. He immerses his flowers to stiffen them, then flings them against a hard surface. The shattered remains are beautiful. 'Broken Flowers' is a striking series of contrasting pairs.