While we spend time fretting about wars, disease, crazy anti-vaxxers, and so on, it's good to think of other things sometimes. One of my pastimes is music, but another is art--not creating it, but finding it.
I love to scour estate sales, flea markets, and the like, usually looking for art, old photos, and manuscripts. I spend a huge amount of time hunting, but buy only when something grabs me--which doesn't happen too often. At an estate sale a few months back, for a few hundred bucks, I picked up this large oil on canvas painting, a still life done in the modern hyper-realist style. I figured the frame alone would be worth what I paid. You can still see the brushwork if you get quite close to it, but it's not apparent from this photo. It's obviously not "antique," but must have been done at some time in the past four decades or so. It's now hanging with pride in my dining room. The artist signature seems to be a pseudonym, but my real question is: what is the fruit placed on? It looks to me like some kind of weatherbeaten stone altar, but I really don't know. What is that large water caltrop-shaped thing in the lower left? It's a real puzzle, and I suppose that's the attraction of the piece: as a hyperrealistic painting, the viewer supposedly should recognize everything depicted, but here, besides some fruits and veggies, there's something that makes you say, "What the hell is that?" I asked the sellers, and they didn't know either. After trying to puzzle it out for several months, I decided to ask the wise folks on SAV for their insights. Meanwhile, it's been knocking the socks off my guests.
Although I have a lot of artists in the family, I draw stickmen. I do appreciate art though. It us visually stunning. I would definately have been attracted to it as well.
This raised portion looks as though it is depicting a lamp with air-holes or a water whistle. Os it clay or stone being depicted? To my (untrained ) eye it looks like clay.
The imprint on the clay changes often and it looks as though a piece of linen was placed at the top left. But that can't be as it has weird out-croppings on it, so was likely a podium or table made to be visually striking.
Maybe the fruit will trigger someone's memory so you can tell where it was painted. I have never seen that orange gourd with the long crookneck, the odd fruit beside it or the green "leafy" blob.
PS The signature appears to be X Lani. Lani in Hawaiian means sky or heavens pr even a holy woman if it is the artist's name. Perhaps that is a clue?