Paulette Tavormina: Seizing Beauty
Paulette Tavormina; essays by Silvia Malaguzzi, Mark Alice Durant, and Anke Van Wagenberg-Ter Hoeven
In her sumptuous photographic still lifes replete with flora, food, and artifacts, Paulette Tavormina creates intensely personal interpretations of timeless tableaux. With a painterly perspective reminiscent of Old Masters such as Francisco de Zurbarán, Adriaen Coorte, and Giovanna Garzoni, Tavormina’s meticulously orchestrated and lit photographs are boldly contemporary in their precision.
Paulette Tavormina: Seizing Beauty presents the full array of her seductive and opulent still life series, heirs to the legacy of a cherished art tradition now seen through the lens of photography. Essays by art and photography scholars Silvia Malaguzzi, Mark Alice Durant, and Anke Van Wagenberg-Ter Hoeven delve into the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century sources of Tavormina’s inspiration, her stance in art photography, and how the conventions of yesterday’s painting can transform to make visually stunning photographic art for today.
Praise for Paulette Tavormina: Seizing Beauty
"The photographer Paulette Tavormina began her professional career working with antiques, food styling and photographing works of art for an auction house. She’s also spent many years collecting bits and pieces—the insects, objects and flowers that fill her studio—from markets and little shops. Her new book took six years to photograph and brings together all these experiences: It features 65 sumptuous color images inspired by old master still lifes. At first glance, you might easily mistake one of Tavormina’s images for a Zurbarán or a work from the Dutch Golden Age of painting—many of the book’s photographs are built up with flowers, fruit, insects, objects, jewelry, butterflies and broken bits of porcelain. Others are inspired by the symbolic Vanitas paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries, with skulls and the reminder of death and the passing of all worldly goods."
—The New York Times' T Magazine
"In her new book, Seizing Beauty, the New York–based photographer has compiled a collection of carefully crafted vignettes of astounding beauty, combining fruit, flowers, and unexpected fauna (a monarch here, a grasshopper there) in moody compositions that seem to glow from within."