Krystian, Nevermore, 2013

Krystian, Paul Gauguin, Nevermore, 1897

Inspired by Paul Gauguin, Nevermore, 1897.

I picked this painting because I was interested in how the artist used exotic colours. During my research I discovered that the artist had escaped from European civilisation to the Island of Polynesia. His painting shows that Tahiti was not so much of a paradise as people thought. In my photograph I have investigated Gauguin’s use of sad, sombre, and anti-naturalistic colours. I used rotten fruit so that the colours would be similar to those of the painting and also to reflect the sadness of the artist’s model. To produce my final photograph I shot the fruit in the studio and experimented with the composition of fruit, as well as the lighting.

Inspired by:

Paul Gauguin, Nevermore, 1897

Paul Gauguin, Nevermore, 1897

The two figures in the background and the bird of the devil that is keeping watch, as Gauguin called it, seem to be conspiring against the reclining woman. She lies awake, perhaps conscious of being watched. The title evokes Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, in which a poet, driven mad by the loss of his love, hears a raven repeating endlessly ‘Nevermore’. Here, Gauguin suggests the loss of innocence. He was deeply disappointed by Tahiti, where he had moved from Paris, hoping to find a primitive and unspoilt paradise. Instead, he found a society marred by corruption and colonialism.