Normal Plant, 2009     23 x 28"   My series “Bountiful” portrays a collection of wax agricultural models housed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York.  A man named James Lawson made these models in the early decades of the twentieth century. During the summers between 1920 and 1935, Lawson came to stay and work in Geneva, producing extraordinarily meticulous models of fruit, vegetable and other botanical specimens. He even incorporated his own body hair in some of them, for example for the spindly roots of the carrots and radishes.  My project is partly about Americana, but also about the existential desire to make representations of things that cannot last. The models were designed to teach about agriculture using the most lifelike approximations possible.  But the labels beneath embossed them –variety names like “Perfection,” “100% Profit” and “Bountiful,” or pathologies like “Rosy Aphis” and “The Carrot Maggot” –also have an enigmatic poetic surplus.

Normal Plant, 2009     23 x 28" 

My series “Bountiful” portrays a collection of wax agricultural models housed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York.  A man named James Lawson made these models in the early decades of the twentieth century. During the summers between 1920 and 1935, Lawson came to stay and work in Geneva, producing extraordinarily meticulous models of fruit, vegetable and other botanical specimens. He even incorporated his own body hair in some of them, for example for the spindly roots of the carrots and radishes.

My project is partly about Americana, but also about the existential desire to make representations of things that cannot last. The models were designed to teach about agriculture using the most lifelike approximations possible.  But the labels beneath embossed them –variety names like “Perfection,” “100% Profit” and “Bountiful,” or pathologies like “Rosy Aphis” and “The Carrot Maggot” –also have an enigmatic poetic surplus.

 Perfection, 18 x 15" 2009

Perfection, 18 x 15" 2009

 Refugee, 18 x 15"   2009    

Refugee, 18 x 15"   2009    

 The Carrot Maggot, 23 x 28"  2009  

The Carrot Maggot, 23 x 28"  2009  

 Bountiful, 28 x 23" 2009    

Bountiful, 28 x 23" 2009    

 The Rosy Aphis, Bountiful, 28 x 23" 2009  

The Rosy Aphis, Bountiful, 28 x 23" 2009  

 Early McIntosh ,  18 x 15" 2009

Early McIntosh ,  18 x 15" 2009

 Best of All, Ripe, 23 x 28" 2009  

Best of All, Ripe, 23 x 28" 2009  

 Open Book, 28 x 23" 2009  

Open Book, 28 x 23" 2009