Conor Backman


oil on canvas panel and tinted plexiglass in artist's frame
12 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches

Living and working in Hudson, NY, painter Conor Backman engages with the history of art and the art of viewing, with particular focus on the technique trompe l’oeil (French for “deceive the eye”) where the artist creates a painting so realistic it fools the viewer into believing the subject matter is three-dimensional. In The Orangerie, Backman achieves this illusionism by sumptuously painting oranges nestled among leaves and branches, and obscures any traces of the paintbrush by placing the work below tinted plexiglass. The black plexiglass masks the carefully rendered still life below it, and alludes equally to computer screens and the glass of a greenhouse used to grow citrus, orangeries. By screening the painting, Backman forces the viewer to linger over the image, letting the highlighted leaves and fruit slowly emerge from the blackness and reveal itself only with careful consideration.