I am really excited today to share this body of work, Domestic Arrangements, by Kimberly Witham.  Kimberly’s name was given to me by a friend a couple of years ago and I posted some beautiful photographs from her Transcendence series.  My favorite part of turning my blogspot blog into Muybridge’s Horse was returning to visit the websites of artists I’d posted in the past and seeing what they were up to now.  I was very happy to see that Kimberly has been quite active, working on this series as well as Vanitas, which is in progress.

I’m a big fan of “straight-on” photographs.  I love the formal qualities of these pictures–the colors, the shapes, the patterns, the relationships between these things–and the exact choices that were made regarding them.  I also admire the inherent discomfort in seeing “home”-magazine-style imagery with a grotesque twist, and the artist’s critical note on the domestic and suburban lifestyle this type of magazine tries to sell.

From the artist’s statement: My work is strongly influenced by natural history dioramas, cabinets of curiosity, still life painting and other manifestations of man’s attempt to categorize, comprehend and ultimately control the natural world.  The photographs in this series pay homage to traditional still life painting while underscoring the inherent tension between humans and nature.  While Vanitas paintings refer to the futility of earthly pleasure, the photographs in this series question the consequences of our domestic comforts.  Unlike traditional still lifes, which often combined domestic objects with items from foreign locales, all of the items in my photographs are found close to home.  The objects in these photos include personal possessions, flowers and vegetables from my garden, and birds and animals found by the roadside.  I arrange these items into ephemeral constructions that are simultaneously whimsical and grotesque.  While these images are inspired conceptually by the Vanitas tradition, formally they are more akin to contemporary home and style magazines.  In the pages of these magazines, products are arranged in clinical perfection.  They promise relaxation, fulfillment and simplicity if we only buy one more thing.  In contrast, my arrangements highlight both the promise of suburban comfort and the aftermath of our continued consumption.

Visit artist's site: kimberlywitham.com