In her series of paintings entitled After Caravaggio, artist Jamie Vasta gives Caravaggio a kitsch makeover. Endearingly reminiscent of cat themed embroideries one might find in a dank second hand shop, Vasta’s series is a perfect definition of modern. She has taken well known models and themes and completely reappropriated them in such a way that they have been given new meaning, without straying too far from the original “text” of Caravaggio’s work.
She uses “contemporary props and costumes to create new narratives” and, by doing creates not only a new artwork, but also pays homage to Caravaggio and his influence in the art world. The use of glitter in these paintings underlines the contemporary nature of Vasta’s creations and contributes vastly to the kitsch aspects of her work. The balance between the baroque and the kitsch fits perfectly together and the glitter gives something of a humoristic element to the compositions.
The dramatic themes addressed in these paintings are not undermined but somewhat lightened by the use of glitter. The color contrasts and playful expressions of the subjects give the paintings a touch of humor and a somewhat cheerful nature. The overall originality of Vasta’s work is both intriguing and has somewhat of an edge.