Valerie Hegarty
Watermelon Tongue
Canvas, stretcher, acrylic paint, modeling paste, paper, glue, foil, guaze, glue, thread
24" w x 30" h x 9" d
Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, NYC
Figure, Flowers, Fruit
September 9 - October 21, 2012

In Watermelon Tongue, Hegarty anthropomorphizes a common 19th Century still life through a long, tongue-like form that protrudes from a partially eaten wedge of watermelon. The piece takes its inspiration from the recent phenomenon of exploding watermelons in China where crops were sprayed with the wrong growth hormones causing the insides to grow faster than the outsides. The watermelon appears to mock or salivate over the nearby portrait, Girl in White with Flowers as the appendage swells away from the canvas, and leers at the painting. The cumulative effect of the work in the exhibition goes further than to just taunt, it gloats in the face of the viewer, pointing the blame of pandemic avarice and desire back to mankind.
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