A series of whimsical panoramic photographs depicting animals reveling around elaborate banquet tables. The images are compositionally inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, “The Last Supper” and by Pierre Subleyras classic painting, “The Feast in the House of Simon”. The intricate table spreads are carefully arranged, in the style of dutch still life paintings of the 17th century. The series features anthropomorphic creatures great and small; from Elephants enjoying piles of peanuts and large stacks of peanut butter sandwiches to Honeybees swarming miniature trays of flowers, and many other creatures winged, hoofed and found under the sea. Some of the animals are exotic, some we see everyday, created during extensive travel; goats from Bosnia, Lar Gibbons from Thailand, starfish from the north of Norway, bison from Indiana USA, xolos from Mexico, and Three Toed Sloths along the Amazon River in Peru to name just a few. The banquet is a historically defining characteristic of culture and conjures up vivid and colorful imagery – plentiful food and wine, exotic recipes, lavish presentations and glorious surroundings. The evolution of formal dining begins in the medieval era, where dining became a sign of social status. Menus were extensive, but only small portions were taken. Society was evolving, travel, prompted by the Crusades of the Middle Ages, led to a new and unprecedented interest in beautiful objects and elegant manners. This change extended to food preparation and presentation resulting in epic food arrangements with exotic colors and flavorings. Then again in the Victorian Era, a boom in exploration and colonization yielded an interest in the exotic “other”, a fascination which also extended to animals and the natural world. The wealthy began to fill their houses with costly, splendid goods, their table settings became more elaborate and dining became a pageant in its own right. Vast, elaborate meals became a way to assert power, wealth and status.
Claire Rosen is an award winning artist whose transportive imagery uses universal themes of dreams, fairy tales and mythology to visually symbolize the many facets of the human condition. Her elaborate constructions are reminiscent of classical paintings, and evoke the aesthetics and ideals of Pre-Raphaelite, Romantic and Gothic periods. The dark and whimsical images often explore concepts of nostalgia, memory, femininity and depictions of the self, frequently referencing the Victorian Era with its fascination of the natural world and ideals of beauty. In 2012 & 2013, Claire was included in Forbes 30 Brightest under 30 for Art & Design. Her work has also received awards from Communication Arts Photography Annual, International Photography Awards, Graphis Photo Annual, PDN Photo Annual, Prix de la Photographie, Sony World Awards, Artists Wanted: Exposure, and Art Project: W Magazine. Claire’s work has been featured in Beautiful/Decay, Communication Arts Insights and Fresh, Complex Art Design, Creative Quarterly Journal, Direct Art, Faded Blurred, Fast Company, Feature Shoot, Hi Fructose Magazine, Juxtapoz Magazine, PDN’s Emerging Photographer, Photocine News, Refinery 29, The Rumpus, Slate Magazine Behold and The World Photography Organization. Claire has been exhibited from New York to Los Angeles and London to Bangkok; her work can be found in a number of public and private collections. In 2013, Claire had her first solo museum show at the the Savannah Museum of Art in Georgia. Her fine art work has been included in a number of juried group shows at Aperture Gallery, Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA), Consensus, MOPLA, Photoville Atlanta, Boston & Brooklyn Fence and PhotoPlace Gallery. The vivid storytelling throughout Claire’s work has enabled her to construct unique creative campaigns and installations for a wide range of commercial brands. From fashion labels to luxury hotels, book publishers to restaurants, Claire’s portfolio of commissioned images bridges the gap between fine art and commercial work. In addition, Claire has taught workshops and lectured about the creative process on five continents through B&H, Foundry, Gulf Photo Plus, Hallmark Institute, ICP, NJVAC, NORDphotography, Savannah College of Art and Design, School of Visual Arts, Unique University and the Yard School at MAM. Claire is sponsored as a brand ambassador for Dynalite, Hahnemühle USA and liveBooks. Claire graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006 with a BFA in photography. She received a liberal arts degree from Bard College at Simon’s Rock in 2003.