Still Life

As Claudia of Bravo’s Gallery Girls stood in front of a Roy Lichtenstein still life, the base on which the jug stood — a cut-out sculpture (technically) rendered as a flat painting and oriented in unison with its counterpart behind it — was cropped off, so that the average unacclimated viewer, blockaded online in two-dimensions, would have thought it was merely a painting. In this world of illusion, of collapsible iconic space, one may also be drawn to Claudia’s beauty, the sides of her hair as curtains to the constant one-act play of herself. One night after work, scanning through my Comcast options — with that kind of defeated shameful complicity in television viewing — I settled upon this show, skeptically, as it had appeared on some bitch’s facebook timeline. It basically follows half-a-dozen women through their lives as they maneuver New York City’s gallery world. We see effeminate attitudinal men in rimless spectacles, often holding obnoxious dogs; women whose countenances have been stretched both severe and eerily frozen by plastic surgeries; the glass spiderweb of a cracked iPhone being cried into, inside a cab whose fare their father is, well, faring. I may have shouted at the TV and lowered my pants. I may have drank a bottle of wine. “My still life paintings have none of those qualities, they just have pictures of certain things that are in a still life,” says Roy concerning his less than palpable work. Implicit satire is the spoiled child of the homage. In the episode I saw, Claudia got upset with soon-to-be ex-bff Chantal — whose distant Xanax induced gaze reminds me of a Nebraskan horizon one can never drive closer to — for supposedly getting sick in Paris, causing her to miss out on some hefty electricity bills. We then cut to commercial: a woman riding a bike with a tampon inside her, smiling as if ’twasn’t there. Perhaps menstruation is the opposite of God. We pretend it doesn’t exist. I felt sorry for myself, and the dead author whose novel I was neglecting. Later that night, some claws came out at a table adorned with tulips, its still life barely noticed in the background.