Although nominally a mixed media portrait of a simple Roma tomato, this photograph is part of a collection exploring how I felt before and after back surgery -- sometimes in pain, sometimes resigned, rarely fun, and many times bored. Sometimes you just feel like a squished tomato. Other times you feel like a shadow of yourself, similar to the cardboard flavor of today’s tomatoes which are only a pale genetic shadow of their rich flavors from the past. Occasionally the painkillers force you to metamorphose into a useless reclining Roma, like some decadent Roman emperor eating grapes while laid out on a couch.
For this mixed-media artwork, I paint clear and viscous oils onto warped glass, photograph the subject through the glass, and then print the image onto an archival cotton-rag paper. The result has the look and feel of a pastel painting.