Daniel Gordon’s ‘Summer Still Life’

Merging mediums and compositions, Daniel Gordon creates hybrid still lifes. Combining his own photography, images from magazines and online print-outs, each object is removed from its original context and re-homed in a still life set up.

Summer Still Life with Lobster and Fern, (2021), combines and relocates everyday objects which merge together in one surreal tableau. The scene is bewildering, incorporating flowers, fruit, foliage and patterns. Each individual object carries with it a unique lighting and angle, which adds to the disorientating, hyperreal scene. While the piece presents an arrangement of fruit and flowers, following the typical conventions of a still-life, it becomes apparent that the work is a fantasy, staging multiple realities in a single frame.

When discussing the piece, included in his solo exhibition Green Apples and Boots, Gordon confirms the influence of Matisse on this particular work, evident in the similar cut-out technique used to create what he calls a ‘formal puzzle’. The Geometric patterns which pose as table cloth and wallpaper, mirror the cubist nature of the composition. Perishable objects are presented alongside pasted images of themselves, in turn creating a scene in which the lines between real and reproduced are blurred. Similarly to other works featuring in the exhibition, Summer Still Life with Lobster and Fern poses questions on reproduction, consumption, fantasy and reality.

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