In "After Glow: As the Wick Burns" Robert Minervini addresses the ecological impact of humanity on the landscape. In a group of thirteen new paintings and drawings of floral still lifes, literal and metaphorical quotations from traditional European vanitas paintings have been recontextualized in contemporary environments. The flora and fauna depicted in these works are currently listed as endangered wildlife in California. These present day memento mori directly reference the traditional form and function of European vanitas paintings—which acted as symbolic reminders of the inevitability of death—by depicting local wildlife that is in the process of extinction.
The subtitle “As the Wick Burns” is a poetic adaptation of a familial saying which Minervini would use whenever preparing to depart from family gatherings. In Molfetesse, Minervini's family’s regional language, the expression “Sa squagghiate la cer” roughly translates as “the candle wick is about to burn out,” meaning our time together is coming to an end. Minervini often found this saying to be bittersweet, and it echoes the notion of time fleeting presented in his work.