Sarah Gilman’s painting practice explores the relation of trompe l'oeil to the genre of still-life painting. The French term meaning ‘to deceive the eye’ is used to describe paintings that are intended to fool the viewer into believing, if only for a moment, that what they see is the projection of a three dimensional object into real space, rather than an illusion held on the s...urface of a flat plane. Directly influenced by the paintings of 17th century still-life painters, such as Cornelius Gijsbrechts and Samuel van Hoogstraten, Gilman, however, situates her painting within contemporary discourse surrounding the still-life genre.
Concentrating on the representation of overlooked objects in connection with her daily routine, Gilman’s recent paintings employ the walls of her studio space. In order to utilise the shallow depth of field, objects and materials, such as masking tape and staples are used as a means of producing trompe l’oeil illusion. In a shift from still-life painting’s normative tableau, Gilman replaces table-top with wall based subject matter – the horizontal for the vertical.
Although Gilman’s paintings contain figurative elements, they aim to draw attention to the painting as object, to the physicality of the paint itself, and to the tension between figuration and abstraction.