The brown bird with white-dipped tail perches on a wood countertop with an unlit match in its beak. It faces right, toward a semi-circle of votive candles. A shadow in the shape of a human torso falls over the candles but stops directly where the tip of the match ends. To the left, we see a dozen dead wrens fanned on a silver platter, ready to be plucked and roasted, as well as bowl of tiny eggs and a bottle of Beaujolais.
But for the specific content, this painting could be mistaken for the work of Frans Snyders, the minor Flemish painter. Cook at a Kitchen Table with Dead Game, for example, is a natural reference point for Lochmire’s debt and departure from tradition.
Still Life: Cocktails and Their Ingredients
Oil on canvas, 1995 6 X 9 ft.
How simply this still-life transports the imagination to another plane with the aid of external stimuli. The mountainous pile of limes, lemons and oranges are about to topple onto the wooden table, spilling everywhere like brilliant oversized beads, threatening to knock over the Collins glasses and spill their precious contents, initiating a chain reaction that might never end. Citrus fruits in Lochmire’s oeuvre symbolize the compression of joyful potentialities within substantial bodies.
Of course, the fruit never falls. We return to the tension that holds this image together, and say ‘marvelous’ and ‘bravo.’
-- Andrew Brown is a full-time freelance writer based in Richmond, Va. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Aperion Review, Bacopa Literary Review, Maudlin House,New Orleans Review, After Happy Hour Review, Blue Lake Review, and others. He is a graduate of the MFA program at George Mason University and lives online at www.brownalerts.com.