When Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell of Beekman 1802 fame introduced me to the incredible photography of Paulette Tavormina, I knew I was hooked. The dark, brooding still-life photographs she creates are filled with moody vibrance. I can hardly take my eyes off them. Paulette, who lives and works in New York City, is a regular contributor to the Sotheby's catalog and shows her work internationally through the Robert Klein Gallery. To many of us, she is best known as the photographer for Brent and Josh's cookbook, which was released last year: The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook. I have blogged about Paulette before and she and I have kept in touch since we first collaborated on a post for Martha Moments last year.
With summer winding down, I wanted to showcase some of Paulette's most recent pieces, work that is overflowing with vitality and summertime exuberance: a series on flowers and goldfish called simply Flowers, Fish and Fantasies. Paulette is deeply inspired by the Dutch still-life paintings of the seventeenth century and the painterly quality of her photographs reflects that passion. Paulette explained to me how this series of images was born:
"I was at Sotheby's viewing the Old Master painting exhibition and fell in love with a large painting of flowers and a fish bowl and thought..oh I have to create that. So, I set off to create a still life with live fancy tail goldfish which was a major undertaking. After creating the first one, my gallery (Robert Klein Gallery) told me that it would be a good idea to create a series and hence..my five images of Flowers, Fish and Fantasies series came about. I am still working on creating more images for the series."
One exciting note for Martha Stewart Living readers: Paulette's work is featured in a special travel Martha Stewart Weddings issue in a feature called "Other Worldly Bouquets" which comes out on the 27th of September. I can't wait to see it! I urge you to visit Paulette's website for more of her gorgeous imagery. You can read her bio and find out more about her exhibitions.
Below are images of the five photographs in the Flowers, Fish and Fantasies series so far, which were recently shown at Art Southampton and will be exhibited at Paris Photo this November.
Flowers and Fish IV After G.V.S. © Paulette Tavormina "I picked these flowers in Montauk."
Flowers and Fish III After G.V.S. © Paulette Tavormina "While I was filming this one, a tiny inch worm crawled into view! So, I snapped its journey across the peony stem."
Flowers and Fish II After G.V.S. © Paulette Tavormina
Flowers and Fish I After G.V.S. © Paulette Tavormina
Flowers and Butterfly © Paulette Tavormina