Vanitas: lic

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Charles Kapsner

born 1952

Vanitas: lic

1995-1997

76.2 x 121.9 cms | 30 x 48 ins
Oil on panel

A somewhat playful, yet serious look of the seeking and arrogant side of humanity—of wanting one’s cake and eating it too. The composition is serpentine with traditional elements—triangles evolving into pyramids. The garlic is an old Italian symbol for fortitude, the text of life—we want to taste all of it (lic) with its spicy flavors. The cloth plays on all the roads of life, straight, curving, into the light or off the beaten path. The hand is a compositional tools as well as a suggestive gesture. The skulls, one completely turned away—being better than life. The other breaking out and being cautious. The postcard (a painting by my teacher Nerina Simi) is a beach scene, hence “Everybody wants life to be like a day at the beach.” Finally the sensuous nature of the nude drawing.