Chicken Feet

2008. Oil on canvas.
300 x 280 mm.
R 4,000



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About this work

This work was first shown at the 2008 Johannesburg Art Fair, and was then part of Morphology, my solo exhibition in 2009. Also in 2009 it went to Berlin as part of the ALPOA exhibition at artSPACE berlin. It remained on loan to the gallery for several years.

Chicken feet are regarded as food by some people in specific cultural and economical groups. However, to many people, even habitual meat eaters, the head, feet, and various other body parts of food animals are considered distasteful, probably because they remind people that the meat they eat was once part of a living animal. This disassociation of meat from its originating animal is a symptom of a consumerist society detached from the natural cycles of life.

In the painting the chicken feet are placed under dispassionate scrutiny in a specimen jar. One may expect to see embryos, oddities, and other things of scientific interest specimenized in this manner, but not something as commonplace as chicken feet. This, and the visceral hand-like quality of the feet, reminds us that we too are sometimes reduced to mere specimens in the eyes of science and medicine.