Saturday, October 04, 2008

Budworm's Dilemma

The hiatus is over. I went on blog hiatus because I was working on an artists book which I knew would take a while to finish. I didn't think I'd have time to post anything until the book was done, but now I'm back to making drawings. Why, you ask? Because a fabulous artist* invited me to participate in a show in Paris. Oui oui, mon frere, Pareee de France. It's at a really great gallery, Galerie Magda Danysz, I love the work they show, and have I mentioned that it's in Paris? I'm so excited.

I finished this new piece this week. It's called The Budworm's Dilemma, and it's up on the website here.

It has some slightly complicated word play. It says, "Depending on my level of optimism or pessimism, the chomping past or present devours my past or present." So if you read it down the left side of the page, it says, "Depending on my level of optimism, the chomping present devours my past," and if you read down the right side it says, "Depending on my level of pessimism the chomping past devours my present." But you can read it any way you want.

What you might not know, though, is why it's called The Budworm's Dilemma. You'd only be able to guess at that if you were as obsessive a gardener as I am, or rather, if you obsessively watch your garden the way I do. I can't really say I'm an obsessive gardener in any typical sense. My garden is pretty amazingly messy: it's totally overgrown and weed filled. But that's because I'm always really curious to see what each little sprout will turn in to. So half the time I end up watering the weeds and watching the bugs that are eating my flowers with great enthusiasm and excitement.

Which leads me to budworms. Tobacco budworms, plague of the south, do immeasurable damage to crops like, say, tobacco. But they also eat petunias, and they eat them in a really artistic pattern. They eat petunias in such a way that if you look quickly at a ravaged patch of petunias, you don't notice that your flowers have been damaged: they just look like another kind of flower. You also wouldn't notice, unless you looked closely, the budworm itself curled up in the center of the flower it's finished eating.

Petunias and budworms are in this new piece. You can see the progression of the petunia in this series of details. The moth in this image is the tobacco moth.

Next time you're looking at some petunias, take another look. This kind of damage is fairly common, and it's very beautiful. There are larger images of the piece and more details on the site here.

In other news, Jennifer Zarro interviewed me last month for Art Matters, which has the full interview in a great looking two page spread with images of Suspense and Suspension of Disbelief in the magazine this month. It looks great. I find it excruciating to read. But hey. I don't get paid the big bucks to talk about art. (Or at all. But you know what I mean.) The interview is online here.

*The fabulous artist who invited me to be in the show will remain unnamed for now- I think he might want to keep things on the down low until he's sure his friends won't beat him with sticks for not inviting them to be in a show in Paris.


CherB said...

I'm glad you are back. I enjoy looking at your work.

Dano MacNamarrah said...

Oh Sam, You are such an amazing person! With a new baby, the fact that you are able to produce in a prolific and meaningful way speaks volumes.

I'd like to add, just in case some may read these comments, that Sam's work is done entirely in ink. Go back, look at the work and think about it.

Sam is sick! And I mean it in the most complimentary way.

Sam Simpson said...

Thanks, thanks! You are so nice! As my favorite old lady says, in her Milwaukee accent, "Ooooh, nice peeerrrson!"