Welcome to the dark world of Helen Sobiralski. Just last year, the Berlin, Germany-based photographer won several awards for her original series about opulence and abundance titled Cockaignesque. Inspired by Baroque still-life paintings, she constructed highly dramatic scenes like the one above, which shows a perfectly coiffed woman with candle wax dripping down her bare shoulders. Baroque art is characterized by richness, drama, deep color, and an intense play of light and dark shadows. As you can tell, light played a particularly important role in Sobiralski’s series as she aspired to bridge the gap between painting and photography.
The name Cockaignesque is linked to the word cockaigne which means a mythical land of plenty. It’s an imaginary place where physical comforts and pleasures are always at hand and where the harshness of medieval peasant life does not exist.