Citizens of the world

Citizens of the world (Fugitive Flora vs. Macrocosm)

In these new works, I find myself dealing with subjects that I’m very familiar with. Slightly corrupt florals. These images I feel are the next step in my projects in building still life imagery. My focus in past large projects had been delivering somewhat randomly selected still life within composted organic materials. In this new project, I’m taking items from refuse or discarded items and bringing them into a less random more orchestrated scenario. In a portion of this project I’m building images that are a concentration of floral patterns, flower heads and petals some parts of vegetables, gathered together and formed into spherical shapes. When making and viewing them I can’t help but feel like they are at times a reflection of our, or other worlds. A solar system is developing full of chaos and diversity. Each world similar and yet unique, each world exhibiting its own collective personality. Furthermore, within these images I’ve developed simple stark floral studies that in my mind work as a portrait that has an individuality, a persona. Each world filled with citizens, individuals. The flowers are not fresh blooms but those that have had some time to wear and age. In this way, I view each of them as having human traits, charisma. Shown alongside the condensed spherical structures I aim to tease at the relationship between busy constructions and minimal subject matter while using similar materials. Here I'm building up compositions, and then stripping elements down to very minimal imagery. Without a sense of total chaos, shot in stark isolation and hard contrasts bringing the notion of that beauty and decay into the realm of portraiture, mixed media, photography.  Chaos, beauty, decay, simplicity, these are themes I’ve been working in for some time and they are again compelling to me in these new still life images.

Steven Duede 2017  (Selected works from this project on loan to the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University)