Monday, May 26, 2014

The Terrifying Face of Birding

I've been blasting this photo all over Twitter for the past few days, so apologies if you're stick of it.  Sorry, but I'm not sorry.  I cannot stop looking at it.  I'm not sure I'll ever be able to forget it.

The photo is part of a larger mural, itself one of a series depicting the variety of ways DOI-managed lands are used and enjoyed.  The appear to be done in that late-70s, early-80s style of hand-holding realism, complete with period fashions.  

This woman, this incredible woman, should be cut out and hung across town in the National Portrait Gallery.  It's an incredible image, one evoking passion, sadness, terror, serenity and acceptance.  I have serious questions about whether the artist, whoever he or she was, ever bothered to pick up a brush again after completing this masterpiece.

A few of my many thoughts and observations:
  • Poker visor;
  • The clearly skull-shaped death storm gathering behind her.  Is she summoning it?  Screeching in terror as it approaches?  Is she birding in front of Castle Grayskull?
  • Her binocular strap disappears into her sleeve, suggesting robotic or cyborg connections;
  • What's he using for binoculars, two taped-together walkie talkies?
  • Her neck vein.  Might want to see a doctor about that;
  • Perhaps it's just positioning, but his wedding band is clearly visible, while I can't see hers.  Is something scandalous going on?
Anyway, I hope you find yourself as mesmerized as I am by this image.  Sorry if it haunts your dreams.  Birding!


Rick Wright said...

This is chilling.
All of this recent talk about "trigger warnings" made no sense to me until I saw this.
Thanks, Nick. Thanks a lot.

metaspencer said...

I like her older binos. If clouds could kill.

Laura Erickson said...

Where could one see the entire mural?

Laurence Butler said...

This was new for me, and totally transfixing.

Her arm...her whole left arm is gigantic, replete with gigantic pointy hand. The realism of the rosy breast is also very nice.


NickL said...

Thanks for the comments, all. Sorry for ruining your lives. Laura, I searched in the internet for images of the whole murals but came up empty. I'll take a pic when I get back to DOI.

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