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​My current body of work/research focuses on combining traditional oil painting techniques with digital art and installation to create a narrative about how people turn animals into commodities and fetishize them for aesthetic value. More specifically in Florida, there has been a “trendy exotic pet” to invasive species pipeline, due to people buying exotic animals and releasing them into the wild, because they thought the animals were pretty and not acknowledging that they are in fact living beings. The release of these pets has caused a surge in invasive species within Florida and wrecked havoc on native populations/habitats.

 

Currently, my practice is examining the impact of Lionfish in Florida and the Caribbean, by creating bold saturated paintings and patterns of the Lionfish to demonstrate how they were treated as a commodity before they became invasive. In the 1980’s massive numbers of Lionfish were released on the east coast of Florida and they began to rapidly outcompete native fish species. Additionally, they have no predators in the areas they are invading due to their venomous spines. Since the 80’s when we started witnessing their rising populations, we have inversely seen the drop of native fish species by over 70%. Even with these shocking statistics, the numbers of lions-fish sold to people in aquariums is staggering, and local governments are turning to unconventional ways to contain the growing fish populations. Florida has created sport fishing tournaments and bounties for people who help curb the Lionfish population. And while that solution seems to be the only viable answer at the moment, it also raises its own ethical dilemmas. If we want to fight the damage caused by the commodification of Lionfish, why are we trying to commodify them in a different way? We put them there so is it ethical to remove them violently? 

Invasion, 21'x7.5', Installation Created with Wallpaper, Oil Paint, and Wood Panel, 2022
Invasion, 21'x7.5', Installation Created with Wallpaper, Oil Paint, and Wood Panel, 2022

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Invasion Detail #1
Invasion Detail #1

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Invasion Detail #5
Invasion Detail #5

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Invasion, 21'x7.5', Installation Created with Wallpaper, Oil Paint, and Wood Panel, 2022
Invasion, 21'x7.5', Installation Created with Wallpaper, Oil Paint, and Wood Panel, 2022

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