I wonder what it says about me that I have, more than once, misjudged someone’s gender over the internet? That I’m sexist? That I’m not? That one might reasonably assume an artist named Casey Weldon, responsible for these luminous pastel portraits of pouting beauties, is female? I think that’s fair to say. But Casey, as far as I can tell, is a man, and an incredibly talented one at that. And even though Casey now lives and works in Brooklyn, he was born in San Francisco, which means those talents can, technically, be considered a product of the left coast.
Below is a series of pieces depicting women in loosely themed headdresses, the first three of which were part of Casey’s series Headdresses, and each make a statement about man’s (or woman’s) relationship with nature.
Sweet Bee, 2012, features bees, flowering trees and grapes, suggesting the importance of bees in pollination and production of food crops and representing growth, life and the creative nature.
Ice Moth, 2012, points to silk moths, woven fabric and frosty mountains, highlighting another valuable good provided by insects – silk – against a backdrop of encroaching climate change that could threaten its availability. This piece juxtaposes both the productive and destructive aspects of nature, and man’s influence thereof. It could be argued that humans are responsible for both climate change and for the silk moth, Bombyx mori, which is the world’s only domesticated insect and cannot be found in the wild.
Dead Meat, 2012, features cow carcasses, bullets, cigarettes, skeletons and dead trees. This piece clearly represents the negative effects man has had on the natural world – poor livestock conditions, pollution, deforestation. And although we tend to think of cigarettes as a human invention, keep in mind that cigarettes contain tobacco, or Nicotiana, which is a plant. By harvesting and smoking it, we’ve turned a harmless, ornamental plant into the leading cause of preventable death worldwide.
Art © Casey Weldon