Friday, September 19, 2008

Unnatural History

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"I am interested in the idea of artist as mad scientist. My drawings offer visual hypotheses to the question: what would happen if the DNA sequence of a plant or mushroom were spliced with that of an animal? Using graphite, watercolor, and walnut ink on paper as well as directly on gallery walls in site-specific installations, I portray animals morphed with branches, mushrooms, berries, and blossoms, thus forming implausible hybrid creatures. These images subvert the traditional genre of botanical illustration by approaching the close study of the natural world through the lens of genetic engineering and mutation gone awry." Amy Ross

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"As a contemporary (wildlife) artist, my work is indebted to countless hours spent watching David Attenborough documentaries, infinite trips to natural history museums, and my obsessive, unhealthy interest in all things that scamper and poke about in the thickets and undergrowth. When I first began moving graphite on paper I was rendering the childhood standards: dinosaurs, creepy crawlers and other interesting fauna. Not much has changed in two decades. Imitating the conventions of 18th and 19th century zoological illustration and traditional Chinese fine-line painting, I make strange and lovely images of curious creatures and beautiful beasts." Justin Gibbens

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