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Flight of the Mushroom by Denise van der Burgh Surreal Painting

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Flight of the Mushroom by Denise van der Burgh Surreal Painting

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  • Contemporary artist: Denise van der Burgh
  • Title Artwork: Flight of the Mushroom
  • Year: 2005
  • Technique: Oil on Canvas
  • Style: Narrative Painting, Surreal Painting
  • Size 60cm x 50cm
  • Unframed
  • €2200,-

Flight of the Mushroom by Denise van der Burgh Narrative Surreal Painting

In this painting, six mushrooms are flying in the dark. From closeby to the distance, the mushrooms have different size and shape. The shadows of the first mushrooms make them look realistic, and we can easily see the textures and the highlight. And the mushrooms far away are lifted from the surface. They seem to be floating in the air, free of the gravity. 

These mushrooms are painted orange and yellow, just like the common mushrooms in real life, the surface of the mushroom has some colour spots. The artist observed the morphology of these mushrooms and painted these colour spots in different shades of green and brown, which add a lot of vividness. Underneath the biggest mushroom, those fine black strokes make the texture clear and visible. All of the mushrooms are detailed, and we can see the actual light reflection on their body. The background colour of this piece is blue and grey. The light is from left down corner, and it gives the close ones a bright space, it’s painted with light blue. The area further away is without the light, and it was painted in a dark, almost black blue, blended with some green spots.

The composition of this piece blurred the boundary between reality and imagination. There are many possible ways to interpret this piece. We might wonder: where are these mushrooms come from and where are they going? From near to far, the light became weaker and weaker, which creates a mysterious atmosphere. These mushrooms are arranged in a triangle shape and make the scene more vivid. There are four small mushrooms on the left side and two big mushrooms on the right side. Each mushroom looks a bit different and have different movement; the frame still looks symmetric. 

The artist, Denise van der Burgh, is well-known for her style of combining realistic and surrealistic objects. She paints many still-lifes and combine the elements with other scenes and create a new meaning to the objects. For example, in another piece of her, Kiwi Country, some kiwi fruits floating in front of the mountain landscape, this surrealistic scene is painted realistically. It makes the audience imagine the narrative: why these objects are combined, and what’s the story behind? In this case, the flying mushrooms make us wonder: Why these mushrooms are flying? Are they the symbolism of freedom? Or is it a metaphor of the human exploration of the unknown? 

Mushrooms used in the kitchen, and we all know how good food is powerful to uplift our mood. This piece is full of life and curiosity, and it will be suitable for a kitchen, living room and office. With the beautiful meanings behind, it will be excellent assistance for a better mood, health and curiosity.

Painting is described by artist Chloe X Xu, for Gallery Sorelle Sciarone.

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