Tuesday, January 8

Dead Bird

Not just any dead bird it is a Ceder Waxwing, Bombycillia cedrorum. I cropped the blood pool next to his head out of respect. We found him yesterday by my studio. He crashed head first into the small window on my studio door, this broke his neck. Like the early naturalist who killed birds in order to document them I am benefiting from his death. As you can see they truly are beautiful creatures. Up till now I only saw them from the window or up in a tree. The beauty was a flash, just an impression. Somehow it does seem worse when the pretty ones die. Like the little girl on Kid Nation said about the chickens, "Kill the ugly ones". I already have cut out paper shapes and taped them to all the windows in the house. To warn the birds not to crash into them. This has happened before.
Back in art school my friend Randy found a dead Pigeon and hid it in a cupboard in the painting studio. After hours a group of us took over the place, like cockroaches having a nightly party in the pantry. We painted, drank gallons of cheep wine and sometimes had big time wrestling matches. Randy would take his little rotting corpse bird out and paint his portrait. It seems like that bird was around for a long time. I can still recall that painting! It was about 4'x5' black and white and very expressionistic (we were all digging the New German Expressionist at that time). I think he did a few diptychs of it too. Relax, I am not going to keep this little guy stashed, for a memento moire painting. I have already given him a proper funeral, Frankenstein is my witness. But his colors and his life have entered my conscious. Thank you little bird. Thank you little Bombycilla cedrorum.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great story. the weaving together of art, life, memory, death--and cold hard fatality from an invisible glass wall.