This is another piece in my recent “Pattern” series. By taking an animal and reducing it to a silhouetted, stamp-like form, and repeating that shape to create a background pattern, the animal subject is pitted against a mass-produced image of itself. In most cases, the effect is humorous, evoking the animal’s ubiquity, life cycle, or reproductive capacity. In all cases, this systematization of a natural shape highlights the significance of the animal in human life and culture.
The chicken and egg represent the story of fertility, but also their vital world-wide importance as a food product and case study for the modern phenomenon of mass production. This piece, however, communicates a very different vibe than “The Ladies Man,” despite the fact that they both use the same background pattern and focus on a rooster as the primary subject. I saw this fellow in Mexico, and his lithe, lean build, cocky strut, and tattered feathers strongly suggested he was a tough customer. Certainly both birds are male fertility symbols, but this fellow plays a rough and ready street fighting Jean Claude Van Dam to The Ladies Man’s latter years Marlon Brando.
Nature appears chaotic to us, but it is actually highly organized in its own way. It is our desire to control and conquer, arising from the innately human need for structure, that causes us to project our own artificial categories, our own systems of naming and organizing, onto the plants and animals around us. My patterns series seeks to explore this phenomenon in a fun and playful manner, re-contextualizing wildlife into a world of flat shapes, repeated imagery, brand logos, and ones and zeros, searching for old truths in a new world. As Gertrude Stein once wrote, “There is no such thing as repetition. Only insistence.”