About the Artist
Sarah Gilman’s recent painting practice has explored 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 surface 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 discourses surrounding the still-life genre.
Gilman’s use of trompe l’oeil reminds us, after the initial encounter with illusion - an appreciation of the artfulness of illusion, that this mimetic project ultimately leads us back to the material of paint. In this sense Gilman’s practice could be described as an interest in the relation between painting and cognitive self-reflexivity – the mechanics of painting by which we are made aware of the fact that we are thinking about the act of looking and we are thinking about this act of thinking. Another kind of painting that promotes this self-reflexivity, and one that Gilman’s current painting explores is the meta-picture – pictures within pictures.