This exquisite painting of a robust, humble, humorous, and oddly sensuous turnip, is a glorious treatment of an otherwise mundane and overlooked subject.
Monique Lazard had painted "Asparagus Standing Tall" and explains "I then headed to Whole Foods to find a good partner for it. The artichokes were looking a little sad...but then I saw the turnips! Beautiful creamy white with purple tones just begging to be painted. It was love at first sight. One doesn't see many paintings of turnips and I felt they deserve the spotlight. They are noble with a fantastic shape and interesting whiskers that give them a unique personality."
Turnips symbolize protection, and were an agricultural staple of pre-colonial Europe. The ancient Roman naturalist and philosopher, Pliny the Elder, considered them one of the most important vegetables of his day, extolling their ability to thrive under adverse conditions. Lazard's stark presentation, shallow space, and dramatically lit scene seems to reference the artistic tradition of 17th century Spanish Bodegón paintings. These still-lifes of common objects, often food, were popularized by painters like Juan Sánchez Cotán and Diego Velázquez.
Monique Lazard is a California native who currently resides in Miami. She received a BA from the California College of Art and an MFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. She was a Fashion Illustrator, and an Art Director for numerous fashion publications. Monique’s aim is to achieve a sense of “aliveness” in her paintings through brushwork and color.