Resa Blatman is a Boston-based artist whose work tackles the organic landscape of our internal and external environments. She has a particularly modern take on the still life, evocative of Baroque and Dutch vanitas paintings (Vanitas is Latin for “vanity,” and is used to describe a symbolic work of art that uses still-life symbols such as fruit, tools, and skulls to convey themes, such as occupations, death, and sins. Vanitas paintings were popular in 16th and 17th century Flemish art.)
In her own words, “My painting style borrows elements from the Baroque, Early Netherlandish (Hieronymus Bosch), The Renaissance, and Dutch Still Life, among others. My working style is assisted by current tools, such as computer software, laser-cutting, photography, and modern materials.”
The Unfrozen North 2 fits into this realm perfectly. The oil on mylar keeps the colors rich and vibrant. There is an overall contrast of dark and light, frozen and unfrozen. With the clouds graying in the background, it would be easy to overlook the blood red berries, however the artist has thrust them to the foreground, forcing the viewer to look through them.
Little Sparkly Triptych is a cut-edge painting, a technique that Blatman has fully explored. For a cut-edge painting, she designs patterns for panels in a variety of media, which are then laser-cut professionally. The pieces are layered, adjusted, and arranged to create one cohesive surface. At this point, the painting begins. “The cut edges, layered surfaces, and shadows expand the subject matter of the paintings and help to conceive a beauty that is both chaotic and dystopian,” Blatman said. The edges of the work creep ever outward and forward in a direct relationship with their environment, as opposed to straight, framed edges that serve to separate the art from reality.
A triptych is a three-panel painting, either physically or compositionally. It developed as a means of making a large work easier to carry. It was often used for religious works during the Gothic period of the Middle Ages, with hinges or unusually shaped frames. This triptych can also be broken down into three pieces for ease of shipping.
Blatman chooses current and relevant topics, such as global warming, climate change, and the shifting landscape. She believes that, “as we become even more aware of the precarious nature of our habitat, this work speaks to the vulnerability of the earth that we so easily take for granted.” The organic edges of her paintings then become an effective tool for carrying that voice into our world.
Blatman’s works are part of the permanent collection at Twitter Headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.; Fidelity, Boston, Mass.; WH Ming Hotel, Shanghai, China; and at the Hilton Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. She exhibits throughout the United States and will be participating in the Arctic Circle Residency in Svalbard, Norway, in June 2015. A selection of her work is available for purchase in KUKUN’s Shop.