and Prophecy: a bestiary for the 21st century
With their outlandish imagery of Christian moralizing scenes
and of the apocalypse, Northern Renaissance painters, especially
Hieronymous Bosch, have influenced my work. In particular, Bosch’s
absurd hell scenes that incorporate images of modified earthly
animals as tormenting demons have intrigued me. I use imagery
with a similar essence of scare-tactic moralizing, but my focus
in these particular works is on human/environmental relationships
rather than on the soul/heaven/hell relationship.
The precarious predicaments humans find themselves in stemming
from their one-sided relationships with animals and the environment
and the futility of humans’ desire to control nature is
the basis of this work. The natural, biological world develops
counter-adaptive measures against humans’ overpopulation
and hegemonic colonization of the natural world. I investigate
these counter-adaptive measures by personifying avian influenza
and modifying each respective carrier/host specimen, morphing
it into a militaristic machine of death.
I am focusing on the influenza A virus in this body of work.
Bird populations naturally host the influenza A virus in both
its dormant and active states. Since this is a virus that can
antigenically shift and jump from birds to humans and has pandemic
potential, it fits well with the absurd and pessimistic themes
of my work.