Austin Eddy, The World of Things, 2015

Eddy is one of us narrative painters here in Portland, OR and this painting will hang at his solo show opening June 27th, here at the Ford Gallery. The painting is a narrative still life, albeit one with a more ambiguous narrative. Eddy is interested in the symbolism of each object and how viewers can come to different conclusions as to what the juxtaposition of these objects means.

Eddy does give us some clues though. He writes: “The main figure of the crane has widely been held through history to symbolize prosperity, but the crane is typically depicted with a graceful ‘S’ curve in its neck; here I have removed grace from the creature and instead it appears awkward in its pose and overall silhouette. However, I draw attention to its plumage and superficial beauty through exaggerated detail and shininess. Below the crane lay five hands, themselves meta-symbols of humanity, and each seemingly offering something at the feet of the crane or ‘prosperity.’ Each offering could be seen as one of mankind’s many instruments for gaining prosperity, however, all of the hands are also posed in such a manner as to raise the idea that they may be laying lifeless, hinting at the futility of human nature.”

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