Paintings Give Us a Glimpse into the Lives of Others by the Things They Own
It’s said that we can infer the personality of others simply by what they own and how tidy (or untidy) their space is. Since that’s the case, there’s much to be gleaned from still life art. The objects and their arrangement offer a glimpse into the lives of those who created it. This is is nothing new; in part, it’s the crux of why we study objects of the past—to learn about the cultures and people in which they existed.
Artist Anna Valdez was on an archeological dig in Ireland when she “first discovered her skill for art making.” There, she was encouraged to keep a sketchbook of the site and create scale drawings and maps. “Visually reinterpreting these ‘abandoned sites,’ ” her artist statement says, “allowed Valdez to explore the connection between anthropological and artistic methods of cataloging and record-keeping.”
Anna’s contemporary paintings explore our relationship between what we own and our cultural identity. Filling her compositions with plants, textiles, and other keepsakes, the paintings oscillate between still life and portraiture.