This past summer I was reading about early botanists and their experiments trying to understand what a plant needs to make it grow, this led me to start researching how we have and continue to manipulate plants. Through grafting techniques and hybridization within species todays geneticists continue moving forward with genetically modifying crops and now they have been tinkering with flowers. Last year researchers created a genuinely blue chrysanthemum by splicing two genes from true blue (non chrysanthemum) flowers to the normally pink or reddish flower. This information along with my love of science or as Margaret Atwood calls her work Speculative Fiction started me to question the future of Transgenic Flowers.

I have started to imagine I am a biotech florist, creating single stem bouquets in my studio that grow as a fully formed flower arrangement blooming in unison. Through the medium of oil and pigment various species of flowers have been genetically modified and grafted into root stock using hogs hair brushes onto the surface of my wood panels.

These new paintings reference back to old master Dutch flower paintings that despite their breathtaking illusionism do not reflect reality as the panoply of rare petals never actually bloomed together and were a construct pieced together from studies done when the flowers were actually in bloom throughout the growing season.

Transgenic Bouquets
CLIVE SMITH STUDIO Transgenic Bouquets oil on wood panel, 28 x 22", 2018
The Von Humboldt
oil on wood panel, 28 x 22", 2018
CLIVE SMITH STUDIO Transgenic Bouquets
The Von Humboldt (detail)

CLIVE SMITH STUDIO Transgenic Bouquets
The Von Humboldt (detail)
CLIVE SMITH STUDIO Transgenic Bouquets
The Von Humboldt (side detail)

CLIVE SMITH STUDIO Transgenic Bouquets Oil on wood panel, 28.75 x 22", 2018
The Atwood
Oil on wood panel, 28.75 x 22", 2018
CLIVE SMITH STUDIO Transgenic Bouquets
The Atwood (detail)

CLIVE SMITH STUDIO Transgenic Bouquets
The Atwood (detail)
CLIVE SMITH STUDIO Transgenic Bouquets
The Atwood (side detail)

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