ACautionaryTale
PHOTO BY ERIC NORBOM
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A Cautionary Tale

Catherine Roseberry

enamel paint on wood

63" x 63" x 20"

 

...vanity of vanities, all is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 1:2

Standards of beauty change from culture, place and time, but all these ideals carry with them the same danger: entrapment. A Cautionary Tale warns of the entrapment of beauty; not of Beauty itself, but of those unattainable, indefinable standards we set ourselves against.

Four women lounge in a lovely garden, some place, some time. One sits within a bed of roses, delicately examining a yellow blossom, oblivious to her capture behind a wall of thorns. Another strums an instrument, head bent, eyes closed—but with ears covered, so she only hears the sweet song within her head. A young girl primps before a mirror, blindfolded, seeing what she alone wants to see. The fourth naps restlessly, looking over her shoulder warily for the next beauty coming along to take her place.

Painted on a three-drawer, late 1940s Moderne vanity, A Cautionary Tale continues my ongoing explorations of the condition of women. The lushness of the imagery was inspired in part by Indian miniatures of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Lutist

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