The exhibition is called Wild Flowers and it's a series of 86 paintings and drawings Paone has been secretly working on for decades.
Paone says, "Flowers speak to us in so many different ways. We use them symbolically. We use them for weddings. We use them for funerals. We use them for seduction." Paone hopes to use them to change the way people look at flower art, "Because we depend on them for the bright side of life, and so many floral paintings in the history of art have just been beautiful paintings but not very deep in their meaning and I wanted to change that," he says.
His flower art includes imagery from Mother Goose and vampire lore because, as he puts it, "A good work of art should be very alluring and very disturbing at the same time." And he hopes it tells the story of the human condition, "Because in a way, flowers have a life. You pick them, " Paone says, "You give them three days to live in water and then they die ... and that's pretty much on the short of what happens to us in many ways."
Now that he's finally shared his flower paintings, he says he will never again paint them.
"When I took this exhibition on, I knew that would close the door because the mystery is gone," Paone says, "And I just don't have anything more to say about it." Wild Flowers is at the Woodmere Museum through January 19th.
For tickets, visit TheArtsinPhilly.org.
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