Jacob Pfeiffer, “Party Crasher,” oil, 26 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches

If you’re in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and feel the need to view some startlingly beautiful realistic paintings with a challenging, yet humorous tone, Jacob Pfeiffer and Meyer Galleries have what you’re looking for.

Opening this Friday, October 6, and continuing through October 19 at Meyer Galleries in Santa Fe is a fantastic solo display of contemporary realism from artist Jacob Pfeiffer. In his work, Pfeiffer delicately balances serious technical painting skills with lighthearted visual metaphors that engage viewers on multiple levels. “By titling each piece with clever puns or idioms, Pfeiffer reveals deeper narratives that are suggested through the painting’s ironic imagery,” the gallery writes. “For his exhibition, Pfeiffer will debut a body of work that portrays visually suspended objects that seek to simultaneously hold the viewer’s attention as we predict the outcome of each implied scenario.”

Jacob Pfeiffer, “Scales,” oil, 20 x 24 inches
Jacob Pfeiffer, “Apple Sauce,” oil, 26 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches

The artist added, “Paintings in this exhibition are suspended in time and suspended on strings. And, of course, I am hoping that viewers of my work will suspend their disbelief while taking a moment to enjoy it.” The theme of suspension has its roots in 16th- and 17th-century Dutch realism, particularly the “vanitas” theme that was fashionable to Golden Age still life painters.

Jacob Pfeiffer, “Rock Candy,” oil, 9 x 12 inches
Jacob Pfeiffer, “Spilling the Beans,” oil, 8 x 10 inches

“The vanitas style incorporated symbolism that pointed to the brevity of life and fleeting nature of time,” according to the gallery. “Pfeiffer incorporates this theme into paintings like ‘Apple Sauce,’ where a bowling ball is held in midair above a still life of awaiting apples. The title humorously suggests the deadly outcome of the suspended moment, while the painting prolongs the inevitable for the viewer’s anticipation. Pfeiffer’s wit is portrayed with masterful technique as he paints each object with intense detail and a saturated color palette.”

Jacob Pfeiffer, “Scales II,” oil, 20 x 12 inches

To learn more, visit Meyer Galleries.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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