Abigail McCallum paints the afterlife of flowers

My name is Abigail McCallum, and I make pictures in oil paint. I was born in San Mateo, CA, where I trained in classical ballet and developed a passion for music, film, literature, art and anything I could possibly absorb. I graduated from Gonzaga University in 2012 with a BA in art, and I returned to the Bay Area to set up my studio. The painting process is fast and direct, but the ideas behind the paintings have often been in the works for years as my ability catches up to my imagination.

This is what I know. It begins as a horrendous mess of oil paint spread across the canvas and one prevailing thought. I must not paint the object itself, but I will paint its life in a new reality. In a sense, I imagine the afterlife. These dead flowers I paint can fly, stretch into mountains, take the place of sky, or bend into perfect shapes and symbols. They can transform into paper, metal, or gold through paint itself, and by doing so remove the subject from its literal meaning. Now, what is real and what is imagined are no longer separate.

I have been working in a wonderfully musty studio in a South San Francisco warehouse for the last 3 years.

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