Peach, Plum, Pear

“Peach, Plum, Pear.” Oil on canvas. Haniya Rae, 2018

“Peach, Plum, Pear.” Oil on canvas. Haniya Rae, 2018

The last few days I’ve found myself in a minor depression, mostly over the state of the country. I don’t think I can express my thoughts without writing something cliche, so I won’t.

Painting today was a result of pulling decaying produce out of my fridge and thinking about what the Dutch and Flemish still life painters must have smelled when their setups started to rot. 

It’s too bad that abstract principles don’t give off a pungent odor when they’ve gone sour.  

Gwyn, Lord

A year and a half ago, my brother drove to Brooklyn from Dallas to relocate. My sister-in-law, who is an avid animal rescuer, was also staying with us. We had four people in a 750-square-foot apartment. Only a day after my brother arrived, we found a stray black kitten a few blocks from our apartment as we were walking to dinner. We had two cats already, but no space is too small for a third says the crazy cat people.

My sister-in-law scooped the kitten up and demanded we help it. We took it to a rescue, but there weren't any medications present to at least get rid of the cat's gooey eyes, and furthermore, they had no space. We put the kitten in our tiny bathroom (so as not to infect our other cats) and took it to an emergency vet the next day. The kitten was very sick with worms and a host of other fun and terrible diseases, but at that point we'd already given him a name after the Dark Soul's boss: Gwyn, Lord of Cinder.

We thought it was an apt title.

A note about the painting: It's done from memory. I tried to just paint what I knew of the cat, as a black shape with furrowed yellow eyes. He loves our kitchen area, most likely so he can scavenge for food, so I just painted him in his natural environment. Trash cat.

"Gwyn, Lord." Oil on Canvas. Haniya Rae, 2018

"Gwyn, Lord." Oil on Canvas. Haniya Rae, 2018