The work of the American photographer VERA MERCER (born 1936 in Berlin, lives and works in Omaha and Paris) is hard to grasp.
It began in the 1960s in Paris with portraits of her then-husband Daniel Spoerri, who, like her, initially trained in dance, and other members of the Fluxus group and the Nouveaux Réalistes.
She not only documented the work and works of Jean Tinguely, Eva Aeppli, Marcel Duchamp, Niki de Saint-Phalle, and Daniel Spoerri, but also took portraits of the artists. Parallel to these portraits, she also photographed the old Paris market halls shortly before their demolition. Here she first encountered a subject that has occupied her ever since: Fruits, vegetables, meat and fish in its rawest and freshest form.
In the 1970s, she took a long creative break. But since the beginning of the new century, she has been capturing stunning neo-baroque still lifes consisting of flowers, fruits, freshly killed animals, antique glasses and illuminating candles in large picture formats.
Sensual and aesthetic, Vera Mercer combines edible crabs, fish loaves, game and poultry with flowers and fresh vegetables. With their candles burning down and artful arrangements, the paintings, bathed in mystical light, represent a new interpretation of classic vanitas motifs. Her still lifes, some of which are large-scale, captivate their viewers with their opulence and rich colors, conveying a love of life as well as transience.
A visual and artistic delight, especially also due to the high-quality watercolor paper she uses, which gives the works a velvety surface.
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