Melissa Gwyn
Fabergenic (Queen Vic)Fabergenic (Spring Rise Phenomena)Spring Rise Phenomena detail 1Spring Rise Phenomena detail 2Fabergenic (sluffers)Fabergenic (Gustave)Fabergenic (Junior Miss)Fabergenic (model organism)Fabergenic (model organism) detailFabergenic (model organism) detailFabergenic (crown)FabergenicFabergenic (detail)Fabergenic (detail)Fabergenic (broken lattice 5)Fabergenic (Buckminsterullerene interstellar dust and oceans)Fabergenic (bloom)Broken LatticeBroken Lattice (detail)Fabergenic (broken lattice 2)Fabergenic (sunk)The Late FabergeThe Late Faberge (detail)My Faberge
Uncharitably beautiful and paradoxically frivolous, Faberge Eggs seem unburdened with portent, despite their provenance as signature possessions of the last Czar of Russia. They are emblematic of the ruinous authority of his rule and of his demise. Precious few in number and immaculately conceived, I think of Faberge eggs as harbingers of collapse. That is part of the reason why I paint them.
I use the word precious thoughtfully, since it not only refers to the rarity and value of the jeweled orbs in art markets, but to rarified eggs that, in the sense of biology, may conjure human anxiety about aging. In these paintings I reflect upon A.R.T. (Assisted Reproductive Technology) and draw parallels between the miraculous creations conceived in the jeweler’s studio and through the métier of medicine.
Simultaneously kitschy and substantial, idiosyncratic and political, my paintings from this series are animated by formal, technical and material contradictions. The compositional principle for most pieces is a centered circle, yet my work is about instability. I employ 15th c. linear perspective in order to allude to 3-D wire-frame renderings instrumental to medical modeling. Excessive splurges of oil paint and preciously crafted imagery on the painting’s surface belie social commentary on class, technology and human vanity. The space between these contradictions is where the form and content of my work evolves.