Abstract Magazine International | Still Life – Blue Bottles and Tangerine by Rochelle Jewel Shapiro
Abstract seeks fine art in all forms that engages with both the crises and joys of our shared human condition. We seek art that engages the edge of now; we seek to explore a future forward zeitgeist with a respect for the gifts of the past. We are looking for both established and emerging artists across a broad range of genres. Our criterion is quality.


Still Life – Blue Bottles and Tangerine by Rochelle Jewel Shapiro

19 Apr 2018, Posted by admin in Poetry

Art: William Zuback, @williamzubackphotographs


The bottles are quiet,

not like buzzing flies

we swat

without stopping to see

the iridescent sheen

of their wings.


A tangerine’s skin

has pores unlike

the smoothness of glass.

Bottles taste of air.


My mother’s skin

was pale with touches

of peach and tangerine,

her eyes bottle-blue,

her long neck scented

with Evening in Paris,


the blue bottle still resting

on her vanity table.

About the author: 

Rochelle Jewel Shapiro’s novel, Miriam the Medium (Simon & Schuster, 2004), was nominated for the Harold U. Ribelow Award. Her short story collection What I Wish You’d Told Me was published by Shebooks in 2014. She has published essays in NYT (Lives) and Newsweek. She teaches writing at UCLA Extension.

Art: William Zuback@williamzubackphotographswww.williamzubackphotographs.com

In the artist’s words:

I have been a professional photographer for almost 30 years. I have a BA in photography from Brooks Institute of Photography. My artistic influences began in my teens with my appreciation for great album art of the late 60’s, 70’s, and early 80’s. Additionally, I was influenced by concept albums during that same time period. I liked these musical constructs that extended the narrative past a single song. Photographs and words. Photographs are what I create, words inspire me. What a beautiful union they often times make. I’m known for my nude portraits but I also create many still life tableaux. The majority of my work expresses the identity of individuals, groups, and family.
All of my photographs are taken in my home studio, affectionately called BacktotheZu Studios. I’m amazed that all of my images are created in this small out building of approximately 400 sq ft. Half of this space is dedicated to a sitting area where I’m lucky to sip whiskey with many friends and fellow artists.
I go back and forth between digital and analog photography. All of these images are digital. I’m not fixated on equipment. Lighting is usually one light source, either natural light through a studio window, strobe, or incandescent. Ideas dictate the technical direction of my photography.

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