This work is an abstract portrait of a woman and the marks left on her hair by the passage of time through five stages of life.
What initially appears to be an anatomical object quickly gives way to an almost hallucinatory vision. The head is in fact a sphere, and vice versa, while the hair covers the spaces from which a face could have emerged. Somewhere between naturalism, hyperrealism, and surrealism, the work appropriates the long tradition of the vanitas. This major genre of seventeenth century Dutch painting focused on the representation of objects symbolizing the emptiness of earthly existence. The work seems to be inspired by the famous phrase memento mori, ‘remember that you are going to die,’ which reminds us to accept our own decline and thus a form of ethics of detachment.