STILL LIFE

Los bodegones (también llamados “Naturaleza Muerta” o “Still Life” en inglés) son esa figura pictórica que nunca se fue pero que cambia constantemente a los invitados de su mesa. Seguro que has visto algunos por tus redes sociales, en editoriales o en campañas publicitarias. Tal vez se trate de un recurso estilístico que nunca dejará de estar presente, pero con diferentes telones de fondo: el challenge “grab your things and make a photo” del confinamiento en 2020 o las composiciones con frutas y quesos que no esperan a la barra de pan recién hecha sino al bolsito baquette de Prada./ Still life is that pictorial figure that never left but constantly changes the guests at the table. Surely you have seen some over social media, editorials or advertising campaigns. Perhaps it is a stylistic resource that will never cease to be present, but with different backdrops: the challenge “grab your things and make a photo” from the lockdown in 2020 or the compositions with fruits and cheeses that can be combined not only with a bread, but also with a Prada baguette purse.

En esta colaboración tan especial en la que invité a Maritte (@mar.i.tte), ya que me encanta su trabajo fotográfico y la manera en la que compone un universo donde conviven colores radiantes, referencias al arte y la delicadeza de objetos cotidianos. Nos pusimos como reto crear un bodegón con objetos que nos representen, y explicar un poco más sobre esos bodegones que puedes ver tanto en la Galería Uffizi como en la publicidad de H&M./ I invited Maritte (@ mar.i.tte) to this very special collaboration. I love her photographic work and the way in which she composes a universe where radiant colors, references to art and the delicacy of everyday objects coexist . We set ourselves as a challenge to create a still life with objects that represent us, and to explain a little more about the concept still life that you can see both in the Uffizi Gallery and in an H&M advertising.

A STILL LIFE: ONCE UPON A TIME 🍇

x Pablo (@heyfungi)

Los bodegones aparecieron como un género pictórico en el siglo XVII. Las temáticas religiosas eran menos en el mundo del arte debido a las reformas protestantes de Países Bajos, por lo que los artistas neerlandeses comenzaron a pintar obras donde lo que resaltaba eran objetos de la vida cotidiana. Poco después, el bodegón se importó a Italia, Francia y España./ Still life paintings appeared as a pictorial genre in the 17th century. Religious themes were decreasing in the art world due to the Protestant reforms in the Netherlands, so Dutch artists began to paint works where what stood out were objects of everyday life. Soon after, the still life concept was imported to Italy, France and Spain.

Un elemento importante al pasar del Renacimiento al Barroco. Pero mientras en Países Bajos y en Alemania las obras mostraban las riquezas de las clases acomodadas, en España y en Italia (naciones más católicas) las obras aludían a cosas más religiosas como la vida, la muerte y el espíritu. / An important element when going from the Renaissance to the Baroque. But while in the Netherlands and Germany, the works showed the wealth of the upper classes, in Spain and Italy (more Catholic nations) the works alluded to more religious things such as life, death and the spirit.

🧀 CHEESE, JEWELS AND LE CHIQUITO 👛 

x Maritte (@mar.i.tte)

La idea de la belleza eternizada es algo que a perseguido a los seres humanos, queremos encapsularnos con la vanidad y jovialidad de los dioses, el verdugo de toda esta historia es el tiempo, el mismo que lleva consigo la muerte. / The idea of eternalized beauty is something that has persecuted humans, we want to encapsulate ourselves with the vanity and joviality of the gods, the executioner of all this history is time, the same one that carries death.

El arte se ha convertido en una herramienta de trabajo para los creadores de contenido, en el hambre por satisfacer la estética regresamos a la pureza de la belleza, ahí donde Zurbarán es la referencia: la nueva obsesión por engrandecer al objeto del deseo. La Crème Main en camuflaje sobre un canasto con huevos o el bolso Le chiquito de Jacquemus sostenido por una pirámide de naranjas o un par de zapatos sobre un reloj de arena, rodeados de frutas y flores. Todo manipulado para que dejen de ser cosas: son vida, belleza y contemplación. Del barroco a esta época han pasado muchos años pero los bodegones siguen representando lo mismo… la vanidad. / Art has become a working tool for content creators, in the hunger to satisfy aesthetics we go back to the purity of beauty, where Zurbarán is the reference: the new obsession to magnify the object, especially the objects of desire. La Crème Main in camouflage over a basket with eggs or Le Chiquito bag supported by a pyramid of oranges or a pair of shoes on an hourglass, surrounded by fruits and flowers. All this is manipulated to stop being things, when you put them together they mean life, beauty and contemplation. Many years have passed from the Baroque, but still life pictures continue representing the same thing … Vanity.

👀 BEHIND THE SCENES 👀

x Maritte (@mar.i.tte)

Y aunque todo suena muy romántico, la naturaleza muerta tiene su lado oscuro. Eran trabajos pedidos por la aristocracia y los intelectuales. Para los artistas significaban un par de monedas para no morir de hambre. Estar frente a espectaculares arreglos frutales en una época de hambruna no era nada fácil, incluso eran vigilados por guardias para que no tocarán nada. El trabajo se volvía más tedioso al paso de los días, los olores fétidos no solo de la fruta, también de los animales muertos en plena descomposición eran insoportable, las piezas de decoración como porcelanas, relojes de arena, velas y cráneos eran artículos de lujo, sin contar las joyas y sedas que adornaban aquel ostentoso bodegón./ And although everything sounds very romantic, still life has its dark side. They were works requested by the aristocracy and intellectuals. They meant a couple of coins for the artist who were starving. Being in front of spectacular fruit arrangements in a time of famine was not easy, they were even watched by guards so that they would not touch any food. The work became more tedious as the days went by, the fetid odors not only of the fruit, but also of the dead animals in full decomposition were unbearable, the decorative pieces such as porcelain, hourglasses, candles and skulls were luxury items, and we haven’t mentioned the jewels and silks that adorned that ostentatious still life.

🕒 NOWADAYS 🕒

x Pablo (@heyfungi)

Más allá de los oscuros matices de los bodegones (el ego y la vanidad), también pueden ser vistos como un intento por encontrar la fantasía a través de los objetos cotidianos y volteando a ver los elementos que hay en tu escritorio. Parte del júbilo de los bodegones radica en abrazar aquello que está cuidadosamente compuesto, pero también las combinaciones de elementos que antes no te hubieras imaginado en un mismo espacio./ Beyond the dark nuances of the still lifes (ego and vanity), they can also be seen as an attempt to find fantasy through everyday objects and looking at the items on your desk. Part of the joy of still life lies in embracing what is carefully composed, but also combinations of elements that you would not have imagined before in the same space.

x Maritte (@mar.i.tte)

El arte es un lenguaje, un discurso íntimo y todo es un ciclo que se repite. Antes estábamos hambrientos de melones, ahora de objetos bellos que luzcan bien en una fotografía, la ambición por los likes, lo fugaz de nuestra vida, la humana condición de usar y desechar, de vivir y morir./ Art is a language, an intimate discourse and everything is a cycle that repeats itself. Before we were hungry for melons, now for beautiful objects that can look good in a photograph, the ambition for likes, the fleeting nature of our life, the human condition to use and discard, to live and die.

Pictures White Background (1) + (3) x Pablo Parra (@heyfungi) / Pictures Black Background (2) + (4) x Lesly Maritte (@mar.i.tte)

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  • What an awesome idea for a collaboration! These are beautifully composed photographs and I love the modern take on still life. Every photo is so perfectly colourful too! 🙂

    Hope that you are having a good week 🙂

  • What a lovely collaboration!! And as Mica said below, such a beautiful modern take on still life. As you say, it’s an old tradition and the way it’s been done today is way more commercial. So I love the idea of taking it back to the old days, but doing it with modern elements. I especially love the second picture. I’ve always been a fan of the combination of black/dark background and hues of pink/red. Absolutely gorgeous! And I love the fresh combo of white, yellow and glass too. Gorgeous! Have a lovely week Pablo! Xx

  • Hey Pablo, how you doin?
    Hope everything’s well and that, despite everything (I heard of the rises of infections even there in Spain) you are enjoying the magic of Xmas atmosphere.
    Like at your plae, here the cold arrived all of a sudden last week and I had to jump from tees and jacket into coats and swaters in no time!
    Anyway it was even pretty predictable since it’s been December, but when you are used to warm and sunny days, you tend to forget the season (or maybe it’s just me…)! ^^’

    Anyway let’s pass to the topic of the week!
    First of all: congrats for this collaboration!!! You are so talented that I’ve always thought that you really deserve important collabs!
    I’m very very happy for this!!!! 😀
    Then, you’ve developed the theme of still life very brilliantly and in depht!
    I loved the part where you talk of the historycal origins of still life and its deep meanings: super super interesting.
    Said that, Maritte’s photos are really incredible, a perfect mix of past and modern, baroque and minimalism…totally loved every pic (including yours, of course)!
    This especially since I’ve always liked and admired a lot still life photos but haven’t the ability (nor patience, to be honest) to do it in the right way.

    A very instructive and interesting post, Pablo, wishing you more and more important collabs!
    Have a great week end,
    take care, dear!
    XO
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.com

  • What a great collaboration post about still life. I like how you two explored Still Life both in its historical and modern incarnations. I must admit that I have never thought what it was like for a starving artist to paint fruits they couldn’t touch- or how it was for them to endure the stench of dead animals. I remember seeing those elaborative baroque paintings with dead animals and fruits- some of them looked quite spooky to me. I was just watching a documentary about how people in the past were often undernourished and had weak immune systems because they couldn’t afford to eat a balanced diet. It wasn’t easy to live in those days.
    However, the modern times have its challenges. I have just thought of all those people who sacrifice their time and health to attain material objects such as pricey status symbols. These status symbols, captured in an endless stream of posts on social media, have become the new baroque objects of vanity. I like how you showed how Still Live art (both photograph and painting) can have multiple meanings. Sometimes it is more about vanity and prestige, other times they show a new way to look at things and give additional meanings to everyday objects. I really enjoyed reading and seeing this photographs… That photo you two did of a lilac bag surrounded by fruits and flowers is absolutely beautiful.

  • Ah Pablo, this is such a incredible celebration of the still life as an art form. You and Maritte both came up with such beautiful compositions and this is such an interesting study of the function of aesthetics. I love the idea of finding fantasy through everyday objects as well as pairing them up in unexpected ways. Two of my favorite photographers – Irving Penn and Raymond Meier create such photographs and their work never fails to be visually compelling. I never realized that still life has such a dark side to it’s history and it’s sad that this divide between the rich and the working class still exists. I hope December is treating you well so far!

  • Améeeeeeee como mezclaron sus palabras y crearon este hermoso texto, que sobre todo me hizo conocer un poco más sobre la historia del arte y, como en todo, es un ciclo que repetimos una y otra vez, y si bien antes eran pinturas, ahora son nuestros feeds.

    *me dolió el cora en «behind the scenes».

  • Hey Fungi!

    I hope you are planning for a lovely weekend<3
    Those art by you and Maritte are really great! Both of you are talented!!

    It is the first time that I know about the history of still life.
    Vanity, embracing, and some words in your sentences make me feel a lot of different perspectives!
    Thank you for beautiful inspirations!! I would love to try a still life this weekend:)

    akiko
    https://kimonosnack.blogspot.com

  • Wow what an amazing collaboration! These are such stunning still lifes. I’m so taken with the dark background and rich fruit. I have to say I was so excited to read this blog post because I used to love looking at still life paintings at the art museum with my aunt. I love how they’re simplistic yet dramatic at the same time!

    Jill
    https://jilliancecilia.com/

  • Hi Pablo! I hope you are doing well
    I really enjoy these lovely artworks! You guys did such a great job! love the colour combination, texture, and styling.
    It is great that you also include the little history behind still life and explain the context to the artwork.
    Can’t wait to see more of your creation!

    I hope you enjoy your holiday season so far!

  • Hey Fungi,

    This is so beautiful. I’ve always loved art and seeing the emotion the artist is trying to portray through his work. Still life is something I remember studying in school. Love this idea and the lovely collaboration that came out of it. Keep up the amazing work in 2022! Have an amazing one!!!

    Thank you so much for your support throughout the years.

    http://www.fashionradi.com

  • Happy new year dear Pablo! Hope you are having a very magical start of the year!

    I love this collaboration between you guys. These joyous and bright photos belong in a magazine, seriously. I wish I had this talent for composition as well, so as for now I will enjoy yours 😀

    Anything can become art, it takes special vision and execution! xx

    Naya
    http://www.nayatilly.com