Artist Statement: Unnatural History
I am interested in the ways we objectify nature, both positively and negatively. The dancing, happy pigs used as icons for BBQ joints and meatpacking plants have always struck me as deeply ironic. Plastic animals take us for rides in theme parks and animated versions sell us products. Nature comes to us, viewed through glass windows at the zoo, natural history museum or framed on television. Likewise, the photograph objectifies the world as seen through the lens of the camera.
UnNatural History Portraits display the taxidermied animal portrait in larger than-life scale and gazing directly at the viewer. They seek to raise the status of the animal, much in the same way that historical portrait paintings of the aristocracy are displayed within the museum. These photographs ask the viewer to confront the animal’s history as a living being and their subsequent treatment in death.
It is this dichotomy between the real and the unreal, the version of life portrayed and the actuality of death, the inherent beauty of the animals and the understanding of its invention that finds me both attracted and repelled.