Drawing inspiration from Old World artists, Paulette Tavormina renders luscious fruit, flowers, and food with a painterly eye to create rich tableaux. These intensely personal pictures bring to light the evocative life cycles of flora and fauna, imperfect in their vigor and subsequent decay. Inextricably tied for the artist to sensation and memory, each still life finds particular temperament in the character and balance of its objects.
Robert Mann Gallery is pleased to present Bodegón, a new series of sumptuous works by Tavormina. Meaning "from the pantry," Bodegón is inspired by the paintings of 18th-century Spanish still life painter Luis Meléndez. Featuring the elegant everyday cookware of the rustic kitchen, these spreads bring the artist's signature gift for vibrant simplicity to a new cornucopia of grains, meats and sweets. Hearty loaves bookend bountiful fruits, grounded by burnished copper pots and humbly charismatic country jugs.
Accompanying Bodegón, Tavormina's Botanicals series recalls the botanical illustrations of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, re-imagining these scientific studies as exuberant cascades of flora and fauna. A fantastical menagerie of bugs, buds, and dewy blossoms burst against velvety black depths, leading the eye in figure eights around the canvas. And yet Tavormina's signature motifs of darkness and decay keep these works from pure flights of fancy—rather, they are visions of life in all of its subtle shades of beauty.
Paulette Tavormina has been exhibited internationally and was the winner of the Grand Prix at the 2010 International Culinaire Photography Festival in Paris. Largely self-taught, she has worked on set as a food stylist in Hollywood and also photographs works of art for Sotheby's. Her photography has been featured in publications including The New York Times, National Geographic, The Boston Globe, L'Express, Martha Stewart Weddings and Photo Technique magazine. She lives and works in New York City.