Dirk Staschke’s over the top arrangements of cakes, pastries, fruit, and wild game explores the notion of gluttony and cultural excess. Inspired by Flemish and Dutch still life paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries (termed Vanitas or “vanity” paintings), Staschke’s sculptures are precarious in both the balance of the objects and their ability to sate the viewer’s desire. Vanitas genre paintings were created to make the viewer consider their own mortality and to repent upon the exuberance one experienced in their mortal life. Thoughts about life and death, beauty and decay, were all conveyed through a carefully curated collection of symbolic objects.
Staschke's work has been included in the collections at The Birmingham Museum of Art, The Smithsonian, The International Museum of Ceramic Art, The Portland Art museum, The American Museum of Ceramic Art, among others.