Artist Info
Jennifer Kershaw ~ Fine Artist

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Exotic Fruit Still Life - Artist Statement

Exotic FruitFruit still life has become an iconographic image.  It is a classical subject matter with such a long history that it has become something of a cliché.  Nonetheless, I believe that it is the ultimate symbol of the modern age.

In January, 2009 I was making my weekly trip to the discount grocery store.  It was cold, blustery, and beginning to snow heavily.  I was blown through the parking lot and onto the threshold of what could only be described as a tropical oasis.  After my glasses had defogged sufficiently for me to see, I found myself confronted by piles of exotic fruit from around the world. The contrast was too striking to ignore.  

In Colonial North America, being able to secure a pineapple for your dinner guests’ enjoyment was considered a sign of immense social status.  Today, the profusion of exotic fruit available to North American consumers at any time of the year has rendered what was once a rare delicacy into a common grocery item: an icon of the modern age.  Fruit can operate as a site of discussion for the increasing interconnectedness of the global community, even more so than the Internet and commercial airline travel, because it sums up all of the technological advances that have made it possible for an artist living in Ottawa to paint exotic fruit in winter.

To emphasize fruit as a modern painting subject, I deliberately avoided the placement of fruit in bowls or other classical arrangements and used acrylic, a very modern material, in combination with ink, a very traditional material.  The mix of old and new materials represents the tradition of fruit still life while recognizing its ongoing relevance as a symbol for an increasingly complex and interconnected modern world.

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Rat in the Pot
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