Promises Made, from the Truncated series

Camille Eskell (American, b. 1954)
2001
MediumResin, graphite, colored pencil, faux flowers, and wood
Dimensions7 × 7 × 5 inches
CreditMuseum Purchase, 2018
© Camille Eskell
Accession Number2018.12.1

In her artwork, Camille Eskell explores the experience of her Baghdadi-Jewish family in India and examines cultural and family dynamics through the themes of vulnerability, rebirth, gender relationships, and social convention. In this work and others, she uses the damaged body as a metaphor to explore the themes of duality, transformation, and transcendence.

The artist’s Truncated series harkens back to the Victorian obsession with plaster casts of the living and the dead. With its fragment of a face kept within a keepsake box like a forgotten memento, Promises Made also recalls the work of twentieth-century Surrealist artist Joseph Cornell. The roses signify life, sumptuousness, loss, and reverie. Across the face are tattoos of vines that sprout lips instead of blossoms, speaking to the persistence and essence of will, suggesting that no matter how quelled or restricted, it will come through.

Exhibition History