Roxy Paine
Fungi Kingdom

left: Puffball Field, 1998
polymer, carpet, aluminum, wood, oil paint, soil 120x84x31 in

right: Large Fungal Painting, 1998 (detail) polymer, oil paint

With a naturalist's obsession for similitude, the artist makes painted plastic imitations of soil and plantlife. Since this is a gallery - and not the American Museum of Natural History - one must assume that the intention is not realism, but metaphor. We can guess that the artist's meticulous rendering of a plastified natural world alludes to humanity's inclination to destroy what it worships and consume what it cannot replace.

Danger. What is more vengeful than a fungus scorned, or more incomprehensible than a spore? Not to mention the many mysteries of the beguiling mushroom: unseen replication, humid slumber - what is that stirring in the loam?