Vanitas (for Kelly)

As I traverse the Southwestern landscape on my weekly commutes from Las Cruces, New Mexico to Tucson, I witness an abundance of carcasses and roadkill along the sides of the highway. I am made aware of my own vulnerability while simultaneously being reminded of the iconic painted skulls of Georgia O’Keefe. I find this cocktail of decomposition and romance to be a perfect metaphor for the allure of repulsion.


The use of euphemisms when speaking about tragedy, pain, and death is a way of offsetting the severity of such realities. It makes them more palatable. This current body of work uses the types of clichés frequently associated with these afflictions, as visual euphemisms to moderate the suffering of our own mortality.

© 2020 by Craig Cully

Remnant

oil on panel 11.5" x 10"