The tradition of still life painting has often involved odd arrangements of motifs, like skulls and fruit. Artist Cam Rackam takes inspiration from these classical compositions in his series of macabre paintings. His eye-catching, Baroque-like canvases depict hyperrealistic human skeletons decorated with colorful botany in dramatic style.
Based in Huntington Beach, California, Rackam spent years studying the subtle details of still lifes. Now, the artist applies his masterful knowledge of anatomy and light to surreal paintings that explore morbid subject matter. Many of his canvases show human skulls or skeletons against a stark black backdrop, surrounded by varieties of flowers. Occasionally, the boney figures are even accompanied by the occasional butterfly.
Rackam’s dramatic contrasts of light and dark and living and nonliving make an immediate impression on the viewer. It seems as though the artist’s creative decisions celebrate the macabre, and even make spookier motifs more palatable and eccentric. For this reason, Rackam’s highly individual art has extended beyond painting, into the forms of tattoos, skateboard designs, and album art.