Lawrence Beck, Surrogate Flowers, gelatin silver, 14x11", 1996

Lawrence Beck, Surrogate Flowers, gelatin silver, 14×11″, 1996

Lawrence Beck

Artist Bio

Woodstock is already a place very familiar to my life. My grandmother who passed away several months ago, lived in Woodstock for the past forty years. I would like to dedicate my photographs in this exhibition to her. As a New Yorker and as the son of an Italian woman, my photographic work has concentrated on Italian subject matter and more recently a new series in the New York Botanical Gardens. My university experience combined a concentration on romance languages and a minor and senior thesis on photography. Duality has always been a main subtext in my work, which is appropriate and consistent with my personal history.

Artist Statement

“Surrogate Flowers” or “The Esthetics of Death (Fake Flowers)” emerged as a direct result of a previous series of photographs also taken in dozens of Italian cemeteries over the past five years. Details from decorative funerary sculpture grew into the photographing of fake flowers rampant in Italian cemeteries. Our present-day existence has forced us to facilitate our already hectic lives by using replacement artificial flowers and alter the tradition of visiting our loved ones with fresh flowers. The fine line between real and fake is blurred further by the selection of a smaller print size for this group, which makes it more difficult to notice that these flowers are not the real thing.