Taylor Smith’s “Flower Menace” series takes it’s inspiration from art history, mixing the Still Life paintings of the Old Masters with the Pop Movement and Andy Warhol’s silkscreen flower paintings from the early 1960’s.

While mid-century pop artists such as Warhol would often photograph their flowers to create a silk screen with vibrant colors, Smith paints each flower by hand and then creates a matching stencil from rigid metal screen to layer her own version of Benday dots, creating the effect of 1950s and 1960s pulp comics. Although created and applied by hand, the shading on each flower brings to mind a line-cut for letterpress printing, with the areas of Benday overlay providing tonal shading and a dimensional effect as if from a printing plate.

Bringing the still life paintings of the Old Masters firmly into the 21st-century, Smith carefully constructs her own abstract version of flowers, a skull, a window and other common objects. Chemical and mechanical detail also at times adds a layer of composition and nods to the meaning in relationship between the subjects on a blended micro and macro level. These assemblages may seem radically different from the familiar still life, but both draw their inspiration from Old Master subjects, and both are visual deceptions that reveal themselves only if the viewer takes the time to stop and look.