I thought I'd post my first painting for "The Dazzle", an upcoming group exhibition at Narwhal Art Projects, because it's already up on the gallery's site.
I've been working on this series for months, and am having so much fun using oils. I've been wanting to do this project for a long time. I used this idea for a couple of grant proposals back in the winter of last year. I had decided that I wanted to create a series of animal paintings, covered in cordyceps; a genus of fungi that act as a parasite.
The parasite normally attacks an insect host, but I thought it would be interesting to create studies of mammals with the same infliction. The spores enter the system of a creature, take over it's nervous system and drive it upwards to high ground. When the parasite finally takes over, killing the host, the spores are released into the air, (by way of breaking out of the body), and begin to search for the next victim. (Gruesome!)
As I began to study these fungi, I had the strangest reaction to the image reference I was coming up with. The photos can be quite grotesque, while at the same time strangely beautiful. The formations created by these spores erupting from the host are delicate and intricate, and look a bit like lace. I wanted to try to create paintings that portrayed this strange beauty in the same way that I was seeing them.
There will be four other paintings finished for this show. I'll post the others closer to the date of the show, which is September 9th 2010.