Vanitas

The Skulls of Toru Kamei

The Skulls of Toru Kamei

Tokyo, Japan seems an unlikely birthplace for the artist behind these paintings.  They exhibit nothing of traditional Japanese art.  Yet that is precisely where Toru Kamei is from.  Born in Tokyo in 1976, he graduated from the Nihon University College of Art, and has exhibited and worked almost exclusively in Japan since then, in galleries(…)

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The Awe Inspiring Oil Paintings of Alexandra Manukyan

The Awe Inspiring Oil Paintings of Alexandra Manukyan

Hearkening back to both vanitas and surrealism, Artist Alexandra Manukya uses traditional oil painting techniques to portray characters that appear both damaged and strong.  They may be disfigured or scarred, but they seem to rise above it and wear their scars with pride.  Her paintings are simultaneously dark and beautiful, haunting and hopeful.

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Antique and Medical Vanitas

Antique and Medical Vanitas

This wax vanitas from the 18th century was recently on display in England along with a host of other bizarre antique medical curiosities.  The Wax Vanitas was an educational work of art designed to remind us that human life is perilously short. This example shows a decaying human head, with a skull and worms feeding(…)

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