Pictures of Flowers

Flowers have a long history of filling both the role of a surrogate subject and of a visual trophy. They are “something to draw” but also something to point to and say “this is beautiful.” Because of their conventionality, they can absorb enough looking for one picture, so you are allowed to put them by themselves in the middle of the frame. Because of this, portraits of flowers have often seemed at once more and less interesting to me than I suspect the painter meant them to be. By painting imaginary, incomplete flowers, I hope to open up this way of looking a little bit more, and to go straight at the reasons around flowers that cause them to end up in so many paintings.

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