Robin Schaefer

Gallery Affiliations: d. berman gallery

Region: West

My work is about relationships and understanding the vulnerability that occurs as we navigate through them. I use fruit and vegetables for my subject matter partially because I am drawn to their delicate nature and powerful historical symbolism but also because I feel they speak symbolically to the frailty inherent in human interaction. The subtle yet alluring quality of the subject matter painted with vivid detail is provocative and erotic. This makes the work seem private and personal and yet at the same time exposes a sense of imperfection.

I seek to instill in each painting a sense of tension that is balanced along side the potent symbolism I find in everyday fruits and vegetables. I use a heightened sense of realism in order to accentuate and bring to life the marks, bruises, and blemishes that are an inherent aspect of the fruit. In disclosing these details in larger than life works I feel I am creating a metaphor that is powerful and identifiable, allowing an intimate connection to form with the viewer. Thus re-confirming for me that my connections to others and the world around me is made up of these subtle and yet exposed details.

In my recent work I have paired organic objects with other objects such as nails, screws and springs. This unexpected pairing is meant to be surprising and asks the viewer to make sense of the bizarre conversation occurring between these two disparate objects. The shadows and reflections on various surfaces are an important element of these works. While intensifying the qualities of the unusual and complex shapes inherent in the hardware they also imply within each still life the potential of physical danger. The metal hardware can be interpreted as an opposing outside force, or as internal anxieties.