Sunday, October 18, 2009

Animal architecture

The being whose abode I photographed (above) is probably less than four inches tall.  In the forest, art is everywhere.  One could, of course, say that about any place.  Robert Rauschenberg said that anyone who walks around the block and can't find the materials to create a work of art lacks imagination.  Animals exercise discriminating imagination in the design and construction of their homes, be they squatters or builders.  They construct places and objects of great beauty, like the sphere I described  in my last post.  Yet many humans refuse to acknowledge animal consicousness or emotion. As though we are not animals ourselves.

Animal homes often appear in my paintings.  When I was a kid, my two favorite books were Alice in Wonderland, about a kid who falls into an animal home, and My Side of the Mountain, about a kid who runs away to live in a hollow tree.  Hmm . . . something is going on there about tunnels and dark inviting spaces.  I recently reread the latter & found it as compelling as I did then.  My eight-year old daughter thought it was boring because it's about a boy.  Try explaining to an 8 year old that gender is immaterial.  Of course she is right; gender is one of the most traded upon currencies in capitalist culture. 
Pick of the day:  Check out Heiko Mueller's paintings at, or at one of my favorite galleries, Jack Fischer Gallery, in San Francisco  I am particularly drawn to, you guessed it, Mueller's Bambi Chronicles series.  Mueller's work is the sort of imagery you might see on earthen walls while falling down a rabbit hole.     

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