Portland based artist Eric Wert, first featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 32, is known for his larger than life and visually intense still life paintings of plants and food. Though his style is hyper-realistic, there is something about his portrayal of the vibrancy and ripeness of his subjects that makes them more appealing than life. Wert makes every day florals and foods like grapes and tomato look beautiful and evocative with a certain wildness. He has said, “I want to create an image that one can be lost within. To me, still-life painting is about looking intensely. It’s about intimately exploring a subject.” For his current exhibition at William Baczek Fine Arts in Massachusetts, Wert created a smaller series featuring hydrangea, lilies, pansy, iris, and figs in luscious, glistening still lifes. Some appear to be glowing as if they were emitting their own light source, others set against brightly colored and decorative satin backdrops. Images like a half-cut tomato oozing with seeds suggest the interference of a mysterious person that we never see. It is in this air of mystery that Wert’s paintings, for all of their juicy realism, truly come to life.
New works by Eric Wert are on view at William Baczek Fine Arts in Northampton, MA through December 12th, 2015.