14" x 20"
Award: Second Place
Juror's Note: This image harkens back to the traditional still life genre that many painters and photographers have created at some point. Yet, instead of fruit and flowers, the theme plays on the seriousness of Vanitas, the transience of life, of vanity, the futility of pleasure, all erased by the certainty of death. But this photographer throws us a whimsical twist, first seen by an almost empty peanut butter jar. What’s Skippy doing here? Looking closer, there’s the Reeses candy and wrapper, some M&Ms, even an iPad graphic tablet. And a real twist on the traditional Baroque-era paintings, which usually included a globe, our photographer uses a beachball-like inflatable one. But, like death, the skull is real. And of course, there’s the shaft of chiaroscuro light to keep the viewer’s eye centered on the seriousness of the subject.