Tjalf Sparnaay, Modern Golden Age Still Lifes

‘Mega realism’ is the term Tjalf Sparnaay (1954) uses for his masterly still lifes. He depicts ordinary subjects ranging from a ham and cheese sandwich to a Barbie doll. Those simple objects are depicted on a large surface, forcing the audience to study them up close. Sparnaay applies methods of the 16th century Dutch Golden Age: the objects are placed on a (figurative) pedestal and dramatically highlighted. Even the colours are reminiscent of the 16th century. With his mega realism, Sparnaay almost literally lifts his objects to a higher level and continually succeeds in surprising his audience.

Tjalf Sparnaay

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