I recently finished this painting of two mallard duck planters with a bird nest on top. Much of my work revolves around looking at material representations of the natural world, one aspect of how we relate to and represent nature in our culture. Lately I’ve been working with ceramic animal planters, mostly because it’s easy to prop a nest on top of them. I rather like these mallards and their bent heads make me want to reach out and touch them. I painted the lemons with them because I liked the color and like painting lemons.
These planters were quite popular in the 1950s and I recall my mother having several of them with philodendrons in them. They were the height of cool back when modernist furniture and the color chartreuse were all the rage. Now they’re rather kitchy and that’s in part what I like about them. We either prize or despise these cultural relics; think they’re cool or low-brow. Regardless of what we think of them they helped shape our view of the natural world. Do you think these manufactured versions of nature help to draw us closer to it or distance us from it? Let me know what you think in the comments.
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