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Anthropomorphism is the act of applying human characteristics to objects, animals or Gods. As we seek to define ourselves and the world around us, we often try to separate ourselves from the idea that we are similar to animals. Anthropomorphism is a step in the opposite direction by using animals to aid in our self-definitions, however easy or difficult to swallow.
The first piece of "Anthropomorphism" was of a horse-hybrid sprinter, now titled “Carl,” that arose from the realization that the way we treat our athletes is similar to how we treat our prized race horses, and our fickle culture of demanding so much from our sports heroes. I admittedly draw some convenient parallels in this series, but I am not out to seek ultimate sweeping truths; at least not yet.
After I finished painting "Carl," I decided to explore my observations and see if I could find any other similarities of humans being treated like animals. Thus, Sabrina was born. I used to teach surf lessons on the beaches in Santa Monica, California. During downtime I would often sit on the beach and watch the ocean or the parade of characters along the bike path. The Sabrinas were ladies who made it a point to ride their bikes as slow as possible, all the while wearing as little as possible. They would often act appalled that men would whistle and bark their approvals. I realized that it was the same thing that I see cats doing to dogs: standing on a fence, far out of the reach of the excited canines below, and just gingerly cleaning themselves or walking slowly along the rails. Surely the cats knew what they were doing, otherwise why would they stop to show off at the exact spot that the dogs were resting below? Inversely, men who call out to women are often disempowering and dehumanizing.
I enjoy painting social issues and ideas into simple, often cheeky but poignant images that are also accessible pieces of art. "Anthropomorphism" is a collection of the humorous ("Jenna & Ron"), intellectual ("Ahab") and thoughtful ("Natalie") — images that comprise many instances of anthropomorphism in society, to which I believe everyone can relate.