Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds, 2009

When looking at a person one has two possibilities of looking: the look of outside and the look of inside. This perspective proves that nothing is final; nothing is so simple or black and white. In my installation, Lilies that fester smell far worse that weeds, I am examining the close proximity of beauty and the grotesque. When looking at another we are always comparing our body to that of the other. Are we beautiful, ugly, or somewhere in between…what determines beauty?

The mysterious geography of the interiors and exteriors of our bodies and that of nature have a very similar juxtaposition. It is this unique way in which I find paradoxes in nature and the body, and how they distort, control, and finally conquer or submit to a disease or parasite.

In using a broad range of materials I evoke a sense of beauty and that of a raw grotesqueness living in harmony. With this paradox I ask my audience to examine their own aesthetics values and determine how they might be attracted yet repulsed, simultaneously. Creating a dialog that engages and heightens the senses along with individual gut reactions.


They that have power to hurt and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow,
They rightly do inherit heaven’s graces
And husband nature’s riches from expense;
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others but stewards of their excellence.
The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself it only live and die,
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.

—William Shakespeare

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