byron taylor studio
gilding the lily series

The definition of "Gilding the Lily," is to unnecessarily adorn something that is already beautiful. The expression is a condensation of Shakespeare's metaphor in King John: "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily ... is wasteful and ridiculous excess." This is not an indictment of personal decoration and enhancement - I'm a firm believer in the rights of the individual.

I am working on a series of paintings - oil and watercolors - called, "Gilding the Lily." Each painting will be of a woman holding a gilded (gold-painted) lily, featuring self alteration in the form of tattoos, piercings, surgical modifications and enhancements. The first six paintings had gold paint or gold leaf on her body indicating where she had altered herself, but in the later pieces, I've left those alone.

Images of the finished pieces will be posted here. They will also be on the Fine Art Blog, and the in-progress pieces will be on my On My Easel blog. At this point, a show is planned for Spring 2017 at Gallery 26.

• all images © Byron Taylor