C.Y. FRANKEL

This series is a modern-day reimagining of the memento mori or vanitas; the genre of artworks made to remind the viewer of mortality, the ephemeral nature of life, and the worthlessness or vanity of worldly pleasures.

Appearing here as a recurring theme, the fly has long been associated with sin, decay and the passage of time in art, literature and religion; as a detail in Virgin and Child paintings, for example, where it may allude to the corruption of flesh, and as a symbol of transience in Flemish Baroque flower paintings.


In the Babylonian Talmud it is a symbol for the evil inclination “that dwells between the two entrances of the heart” (Berachot 61a), whilst as personified in the form of Beelzebub or Baal Zevuv, the Biblical Canaanite god and Lord of the Flies, it becomes a demon of high rank, "than whom, Satan except, none higher sat." (Milton, Paradise Lost). 

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