5 Fast Facts: Sharon Core

Impress your friends with five fast facts about Sharon Core, whose work is currently on view at NMWA in the collection galleries and in Super Natural.

Sharon Core (b. 1965)

Sharon Core, Single Rose, 1997; Chromogenic color print; 14 x 13 inches; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, Washington, D.C.; © Sharon Core, Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery; Photograph by Lee Stalsworth

Sharon Core, Single Rose, 1997; Chromogenic color print; 14 x 13 inches; NMWA, Gift of the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, Washington, D.C.; © Sharon Core, Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery; Photograph by Lee Stalsworth

1. Mystery Meat
Two photographs on view in Super Natural, Single Rose and Bouquet, incorporate flower petals made from meat—purportedly from pig ears.

2. Painterly Beginnings
Core studied painting at the University of Georgia and later earned an MFA in photography at Yale. Her works are inspired by or directly based on realistic paintings—such as those by 19th-century painter Raphaelle Peale.

3. Presidential Produce
By growing heirloom vegetables and flowers, Core says, “I see the garden as an extension of my studio.” In her series imitating still-lifes by Peale, Core obtained many plants from Monticello. Thomas Jefferson kept meticulous records of his garden crops and was a friend of Peale’s family.

4. A Piece of Cake?
Core also reimagined works by Wayne Thiebaud, involving baking, decorating, and arranging more than 200 brightly colored cakes and foods. Food styling was not a new skill for Core, who has also worked on shoots for a German food company, HoneyBaked Ham catalogues, and Martha Stewart Living.

5. Nature Morte
Carefully staging photographic still-lifes with home-grown flowers is not a common practice. Core says, “The paintings on which [my works] are modeled were painstakingly painted to appear as real as possible, so I go to great pains to come at the image from another direction—to mirror it.”

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.