Saturday, November 15, 2008

Here is the Raphaelle Peale painting "Melons and Morning Glories" and the Sharon Core photograph "Melons and Morning Glories".
I'm tempted to compare these on botanical terms alone- is the type of melon that Peale painted available? Look at how much thicker the rind is. Perhaps the melon in Core's photo is a new hybrid variety- with a specially cultivated thin rind. Also the modern morning glories have much bigger blooms- another new cultivated variety?
Morning Glories have some specific properties that may have been significant to Peale. For instance, the blooms live only one day- blooming in the morning and dying in the afternoon. The seeds contain hallucinogens, and some varieties are poisonous.
Seeing the images side by side does raise the question of meaning- what is the point in remaking an image like this?
After all, the idea of a photographic version of a painting is not new.
Nonetheless, I still think that the commitment that shows in Sharon Core's photographs raises them above the level of gimmickry.

Sharon Core photograph courtesy Yancey Richardson gallery.

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