Installed at the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum in Austin, TX.
Fountain Commission in Austin, TX
3D printed plastic, foam, epoxy, steel, pump; 56.5"x 38"x24"; 2016
Fruit has long symbolized an idealized form of sustenance, nourishing the body through visual and sensual satisfaction. Fountains are replications of nature, borrowed from the waterfall, the flowing stream, or the oasis, and often depicted with bodies at leisure. The fountain has become a cliché for youth and beauty, an unattainable regeneration. Both fountains and fruit are linked with notions of pleasure and abundance.
Botanically speaking, a fruit is a seed-bearing organism that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant. Fruit has long symbolized fecundity and fertility in cultures around the world. Fruit is also associated with eroticism and humor, at the core of which exists the body. More specifically: women’s bodies as they have long been associated with the sweetness, softness, and shape of fruits. It is common practice for bodies to be sorted into apple or pear shapes, fruit to be used as a metaphor for the size of a tumor, bananas invoked in phallic jokes, or for pregnant women to take weekly pictures of their bellies with pieces of produce equivalent in size to their growing fetus. There is a reciprocation of language around bodies and plants: they are both pruned, grafted, sculpted. They both ripen and decay.
The language around food has seamlessly transferred into how we speak about social exchanges, emotions, and the human form. The connection between body and food goes well beyond mere sustenance. These fountains rearrange and dispute gender specific sexualities by replacing otherwise sexualized bodies with large-scale representations of bananas and pears, or a stack of the forbidden fruits made famous by Eve. This work is both imitation and invention, a parody substituting fruit for the body.