“These Last Things” consists of large-scale color photographs of the interior of four drawers. I took these drawers out of my uncle’s dresser after he passed away. The title refers to the 12th century Benedictine monk, Bernard of Cluny’s verse Novissima, or the four last things that every man must face – Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell. I chose this title not only because my uncle was a devout Catholic but also because it refers to the things we leave behind when we die. These drawers are the last physical trace or vestige of my uncle, left untouched in his memory. Much of my work demonstrates the power of objects to bear witness to intangible ideas and emotional truths, often exploring how identity is shaped by our relationship to and our personal idea of home. I employ the iconography and symbols of common everyday objects as a means of communicating memory, familial legacy, and the passing of time.
Justine Reyes received her MFA in 2004 from the San Francisco Art Institute and her BFA in 2000 from Syracuse University. She has shown her work both nationally and internationally, exhibiting at the 8th Havana Biennial in Cuba, the Contemporary Istanbul exhibition in Turkey, and the Queens Museum of Art (NYC), among others. In 2008, Reyes was an artist in residence at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Reyes was recently awarded the Individual Artist Initiative (IAI) from the Queens Council on the Arts and a workspace residency from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) for 2009-2010. She lives and works in New York City.
Justine Reyes was an artist in residence at CPW in 2008.