A number of paintings that are part of a larger series of works dealing with parallels in the evolutionary processes of natural, cultural and artistic systems. They show a possible path for the affirmation of painting in a time when such an affirmation seems problematic. Painting in our time has been accused of being outmoded and even evil; corrupt in its susceptibility to commodification, decadence and trivialization; tyrannical in its exclusivity and tendency toward academization; and rigid and boring in its well-codified practices. However, most painters become painters, at least in part, out of a sincere and idealistic search for the experiences of authenticity and discovery, and the desire to imbue the products of that search with aesthetic emotion. It is precisely the discourse between idealism and decadence which puts painting at the center of contemporary human discourse. Such discourse exists at the core of most human institutions, and is paralleled in nature by processes of growth and decay. The subject matter of the work produced here is still life painting, as opposed to still life. Fruits are depicted in various states of decay on sheets of paper also depicted in various stages of deterioration. The tears and folds of the paper are illusionistically rendered to superimpose a "frayed" modernist grid on the fruits, thus rendering decay and mortality in several guises simultaneously. The decay is absurdly "patched up" and "measured" by various pieces of tape, string and pencils, all painted illusionistically within the works. The resulting compositions are meant to both comment on beauty and to be "beautiful in themselves" - to document the mortality and corruption of all things human but also to assert strongly the continued viability and value of making beautifully crafted objects. The goal is to use the vulnerability, corruptness and fakeness of painting to assert its strength, beauty and realness.