Memento Mori: Inspiration springs from death at Piedmont Arts

MARTINSVILLE-Art is long; life is short.

That’s the translation of the Latin saying (from a Greek original) “Ars longa, vita brevis,” which gives the name to a new exhibit at Piedmont Arts, “Gerry Bannan: Vita Brevis.”

“Gerry Bannan creates a feast for the eyes with his lushly sensuous series of large-scale drawings, hearkening back to 16th and 17th century Northern European still life genre painting,” Piedmont Arts describes his artwork in its publications.

These are not necessarily the types of landscapes you’d like to enter with your lawn chair for spending a day in the shade. They are intricate, mysterious and, after enough looking, disturbing.

In one painting, what looks like a flower is actually something in the eye socket of a skull. Beside it on a miniature gourd is a prim tea cup set holding stalks with seed pods. A whimsical lizard reaches up to taste one; his front feet are balanced on

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