Putting the Faux into Still Lifes

Hyper Realist, American diner painter John Baeder has always been fascinated with faux flowers, vegetables and fruit. “The real look fake, the fake look real,” he says. His “Kitchen Window Sill Still Lifes” series has nothing to do with nostalgia, but is influenced by 16 to 17th Century Dutch, Spanish and French still life painters, “all using north light.”

Baeder’s personal biographical details are injected into his tableau in the form of props; illusion is tweaked through the surprise of a vintage vehicle that looks real, but isn’t. (He’s an auto-obsessive.) All the components contribute to an enticingly mysterious reality. Baeder insists that no “photoschlop” is used in making these pictures, instead he is “Taking still life painting ideas back to photography, which is the opposite of my painting.” (See more here.)

DSC_0015retBaeder writes poetically about his fascination with things faux:

I did not want to paint traditional still life’s using faux elements. One can not distinguish the two in painting, however in pure photography the magic is in front of the viewer. “Traditional” faux elements are not enough. Another visual jolt is needed. My passion for collecting realistic, faux if you please, 1:24th scale vintage model cars and trucks joined together with fruits, vegetables, and flowers pushes still life in another direction similar to the kitchen window sill series, with the exception that doing a painting  would make no sense. Pure, unaltered photography does. Juxtaposing  the models with the “traditional” elements, using only north light paying homage to many painters too numerous to mention, the visual jolt presents itself.

 

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For more Steven Heller, check out The Education of an Illustrator‚ one of the many Heller titles.

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