The Thrift Store as Catalyst

Life in the 60's [above] began with a faded photograph [below] found in a thrift store. While I have often enjoyed browsing through old photos in antique and thrift stores (all the while wondering how they ended up there), this one struck me as particularly evocative of its era, so I took it home with me, delighted with its variety of textures and connotations. I made sure to depict the main elements of the photo, the bright, shapeless, short dress, the Oriental rug, the gravity-defying angle of the chair, casually smoking indoors-- but I also took my usual artistic license, warming up and stylizing the background, defining the girl's face so that it would seem more like an illustration of the time period, and generally treating the subject with whimsy and mystery. The finished combination of realism and abstraction has a deep shine, and the two-inch thick edge of the canvas has been painted gleaming copper in swirling strokes.

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