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.
Refugee, 2009 18 x 15"
Bountiful, 2009 28 x 23"
Perfection, 2009 18 x 15"
The Carrot Maggot, 2009 23 x 28"