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Not worth the shot
by: erin kim

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       Similar to most animals bred for food, chickens—though rare—are genetically engineered so they would be able to grow quicker or lay excessive amounts of eggs. The chicken in my composition is only a representation of many animals that are genetically modified. As I was creating this artwork, I asked myself questions about the relationship between humans and animals. There are times when nature does not find its way, but are we to judge? Are humans disrupting the natural flow of nature, or are we only trying to adapt and survive, and make food, even if that requires interfering with the environment? Halfway through the process of painting and scrapping, I concluded; we do not need to make chickens into machines that lay eggs. We do not, to fulfill our greed, genetically engineer the DNA of housepets to make them smaller, hence “cuter” and more “petite.” There is a way humans can be involved with animals and with the natural food chain without displaying greed and striving for simplicity. 

       When observed, my artwork is a small mixed-media painting of puzzle pieces. The rooster in the artwork is framed in puzzle pieces that match perfectly with each other. However, in the upper region, another puzzle piece of different color and shape is pushed into the matched pieces, as if forcing itself to fit in. This additional puzzle piece shows an image of a needle or shot, preparing to inject the chicken. The contrast between the two different colors of the puzzle pieces accentuates the difference between artificial modification and natural organisms. I wanted each trait of the painting to stand out, which led to using colors that contrast each other and taking advantage of using patterns and scrapping.

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