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Selina S Josephs
Brooklyn, NY

Media:Collage; Painting;

ARTIST STATEMENT: Living things are adapting to an environment that have been altered by humans will probably never be the same. Species are fighting even at the genetic level resulting in the discoveries of new species. Science discovers many species every year but millions remain unknown, unidentifiable or inaccessible. A lot of the creatures that I gravitate towards are sea life, microscopic organisms and insects. This group interests me because most new species that are discovered are under these categories. This is the group that evolves quickest, has the biggest biodiversity and, at the same time, we know the least about. Due to this fact, there is a lot of room to experiment. In my work, I use creativity to describe nature and our unplanned influence upon it. This juxtaposition brings forth questions concerning our actions and their effects, our knowledge of science, and the modern disconnect with nature. With this concept, I am also inspired by Charles Darwin’s story. Charles Darwin was invited on board the Beagle as a companion to the captain. He was not the ship’s designated naturalist nor had intentions of developing a theory at first. He came upon the theory of natural selection by comparing fossils to bones of living creatures that currently were roaming the land. His beginnings as a naturalist, which he later on considered himself, was the result of a combination of imagination, acute observation and the belief that everything in nature is interconnected. Like Darwin, I am attempting to intuitively intersect ideas based on science with creativity by piecing together images from fashion and scientific magazines, auction catalogs and natural materials such as seaweed. I insert images found in high fashion and auction catalogs into my work because it represents consumerism which is what leads to environmental degradation among other serious world problems, which further informs in my work the changes in the environment that we are responsible for. By using images of both natural and man-made objects, I create creatures that resemble ones that exist. In Pulpo, a mollusk is represented by an octopus combined with high fashion, glittery shoes and quartz as arms. Pressed seaweed is on the foreground and background. Rotifer is a translucent organism that in this piece is made up of various images including an X-ray image of a shotgun, jewelry and parts of other microscopic organisms under a layer of Mylar that further melds these separate images into one being. In many of the pieces, I use Mylar to create space between foreground and background and, at times, to mask the imagery blurring the details that can only be seen through cuts made on the material. Blurring the details make the creature more mysterious to whether it is real or made up. The man-made objects represent how we influence the world around us and the natural elements that make up the work describe nature’s way of adapting resulting in the creation of hybrid organisms

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