The Crustacean, 2016

by PJ Crook


DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 23.5 x 19.75 ins (60 x 50 cms)
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: Tinted gesso on wood

A departure from her use of muted colours to portray people, The Crustacean, 2016 shows a shift toward brighter colour that is typical of PJ Crook’s more recent pieces. Yet the passive and melancholy expressions of the chefs are characteristic of her work. The sombre expressions of the chefs contrast greatly with the bright, playful colours of the food being carried. The cooked lobster sits at the front of the painting, almost morbid among the dishes of red jelly and pink cakes. Juxtaposition is central to this work, evoking a fascinating combination of sadness and warmth. Crook’s technique invites viewers to question the narrative of the composition, implicating the audience in the scene depicted.

Catalogue No: 4309 Categories: ,

PJ Crook talks to us about her inspirations behind this painting…

“The Crustacean is inspired by my husband, Richard. He is passionate about cooking so I have done a series of paintings for him, at birthdays and Christmas, of him as a chef in a white hat and jacket. When he was young he had this dual love, he had to decide whether to study art or whether to become a chef; he did art. He does all the cooking at home so when I do paintings of a chef, there’s a resemblance to him. He loves cooking lobsters and oysters, there’s much inspired by him.


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