chris mottalini

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Like viewing Renaissance paintings on acid, Secret Meaning is a modern photographic interpretation of the religious and symbolic meanings embedded within 17th century still life paintings.  

This ongoing project originally sprang from a fascination with Zuburon’s “Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose” (painted in 1633).  The seemingly ordinary objects depicted in the painting actually contain significant symbolism (allusions to the Holy Trinity and to the Virgin Mary, fertility, etc.).  When the painting was x-rayed, several objects and layers were discovered hidden underneath.  The existence of these hidden images and layers inspired the photographs that comprise Secret Meaning.  Secret Meaning represents a new perspective on still life photography.

These images were made in collaboration with creative director Jeffrey W. Miller and food stylist Julian Hensarling.

Secret Meaning was published in August Journal and included in the recent Aperture Foundation summer exhibition, "Photography is Magic", as well as Art Expo Chicago.