“Descend” is a piece from my ‘Modernized’ vanitas series that conveys the transience of life into death in a secular manner through use of objective symbolism. The black background shrouding these objects alludes to the ambiguity and bleakness of death. The drooping balloons in the still life not only represent the brevity of life, but their mirrored suspension hovering over the sharp tacks, represents the balance between life and death. The skull its self is a blatant symbol of death.
Ashley Arakas was born in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She has always been fervent about the arts, ever since a young age. Arakas attended The Academy for Arts, Science, and Technology to be further immersed in the arts and graduated as Most Artistic Senior at Myrtle Beach High. She received major recognition for her works, winning best in show for her Three-Dimensional work in the 2011’s Burroughs and Chapin Art Exhibit. While at Coastal Carolina University, Arakas chose to major in Art Studio to further her painting skills. Throughout her studies, Arakas has continued to create commissioned works and show in both invitational and juried exhibitions. Arakas’s work spans the gambit of contemporary and traditional painting style using all types of painting media. Arakas plans to attend grad school to obtain her MFA in painting and hopes to continue working to better herself in all her artistic endeavors.