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Skull and Beetles

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Artist's Statement:

This series of paintings of the odd, the curious, and the strange, shows items I came across in two curiosity shops in an historic district in Tampa, Florida.

A series of the curious and weird is almost obligated to include at least one skull.

This posting, the last in the "curiosity shop" series, satisfies that obligation. Death

is a part of life, and skeletal remains ensue naturally from death in myriad species.

But sometimes the natural unsettles us, and we prefer to consider it bizarre. The

painting shows several skeletons, none human, and one (a beetle) is an exoskeleton (an external shell rather that an internal structure). The selection of these objects and their placement in the painting makes the natural particularly unsettling.

Oil on Canvas

19.5 x 15.5 in

One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous

bug. He lay on his armor-hard back and saw, as he lifted his head up a

little, his brown, arched abdomen divided up into rigid bow-like

sections. From this height the blanket, just about ready to slide off

completely, could hardly stay in place. His numerous legs, pitifully thin

in comparison to the rest of his circumference,

flickered helplessly before his eyes.

Franz Kafka


(Ian Johnson, trans.)

It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the

middle ground between light and shadow, between science and

superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of

his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.

The Twilight Zone, introduction

But please remember: this is only a work of fiction.

The truth, as always, will be far stranger.

Arthur C. Clarke

We are all a little weird. And we like to think that there is always someone

weirder. I mean, I am sure some of you are looking at me and thinking,

"Well, at least I am not as weird as you," and I am thinking,

"Well, at least I am not as weird as the people in the loony bin,"

and the people in the loony bin are thinking, "Well, at least I am an orange."

Jim Gaffigan

Art as an Oasis™

Art as an Oasis is a series of occasional postings from the art of Carrie Kleinberger

providing a temporary respite from both mundane and monumental cares

complimented by words of wisdom from a diversity of others.

from the Curiosity Shop

~ imaginative realism in the realm of the bizarre ~

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.

It is the source of all true art and science."

Albert Einstein

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