Echoes of Time by Olga Rybalko
Drawing inspiration from Harmen van Steenwyck’s "Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life", I created a vibrant still life teeming with art historical symbols and cherished childhood mementos. An homage to tangible treasures, it doubles as a contemplation on nostalgia's captivating pull. True to the vanitas genre, it intertwines reminders of time's passage, manifested in the ever-present "memento mori". This serves as a gentle nudge, urging us to avoid excessive attachment to material possessions.
For my exploration of the Throwback theme, I chose to reinterpret Harmen van Steenwyck’s "Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life." The painting's captivating interplay of light and meticulous details drew me in, and it was pure pleasure to reimagine it in my own way. The term "Throwback" instantly conjures memories of a simpler past, a time when our world felt cozier and our worries were fewer. To capture this feeling, I created a still life bursting with symbols from my formative years in the art world. Think of it as a time-travel capsule, filled with objects that hold the magic of memories, even if they've lost their usefulness or appeal. While I could dive into each element's significance, I'd rather leave that journey to the viewer.
Throughout the scene, delicate florals serve as my personal "memento mori," gently reminding us not to become overly attached to possessions that swiftly lose their shine. Instead, I invite the viewer to question the allure of nostalgia. What exactly draws us to those days gone by? Is it the games, the literature, the tangible relics, or the connections they kindled?
Oil on canvas
Size: 36"W x 24"H
Artist: Olga Rybalko