Carolyn Cárdenas

Sins & Virtues


Sins and Virtues are tiny egg tempera paintings that set out to be deliberate observations of contemporary commercial culture. They mine the historic precedents of Bosch and Bruegel, as well as the luminescent painterly techniques of the Flemish masters. The artist updates the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Cardinal Virtues into modern contexts. Thus “Sloth” offers two goth teens, intentionally cutting their skin, as an outlet for personal angst. “Temperance” features a business-suited Yuppie walking doggedly through a swingers’ party, while “Lust” highlights two passing boats, one sporting young women in designer swimwear and the other full of college men in a Bayliner. These fourteen vignettes offer a contemplative look at Cardenas’s commitment to social realism, while always being bound to narrative through highly detailed craftsmanship.