Ali Haselbeck
My work is positioned from the perspective of a naturalist, continuously investigating and framing the natural world. My fascination with biology has lead to contemplation and reverence for it within my artistic practice. While I start with delicately rendering the fur of a deer or the sharp spines of a porcupine, the work evolves into a kind of hybrid nature. Growth and decay happen simultaneously, and plants and animals merge into landscapes of nature and infrastructure. It is more of a hypothetical second nature than a tangible one, and my hybrid animals begin to merge together into new ever changing organisms. I often wonder what a future devoid of human categorization and presence could look like, and how our detritus will become part of the landscape.
I reference crossovers in the history of art and biology, utilizing illustration, painting, photography and video. These mediums serve as a device to frame and contain the worlds I create. I use erasure as an artistic device, a simulation of organisms and ecosystems are being obliterated by human presence and the passage of time. I destroy imagery with sanding and I obscure it with paint, letting drip and pour over my subjects. My merging composites of animal and plant matter become suggestive of internal organs or cancerous growths, cells continuously dividing and mutating. Tufts of fur sprout from discarded appendages of technology, hard plastic takes on the tone of soft flesh. Specimens from nature are embedded within my work or cling to the surface, a coyote jawbone fitted with a plastic head, plant pigments seep and pool on the surfaces of paintings. My work expresses desire for an intimate closeness to nature and the distance that comes from the effort to contain it.