Artwork details

Parent and Parroting
Mixed media installation
variable dimensions
Nancy Lupo

Courtesy of the artist and Kristina Kite Gallery, Los Angeles.


Parent and Parroting, 2016
Nancy Lupo’s art can be seen as an extension of a West-Coast-based sculptural tradition that unites conceptual and material explorations of the American consumer culture. In her complex and subtle sculptures Lupo combines a wide range of materials to form a sort of symbolic and visual game. Parent and Parroting addresses food as both physical nourishment and a cultural craving. Lupo examines the role played by food in our society, and views it in relation to both human biology and our capitalistic desire to consume goods.

The sculpture consists of 28 bathroom shelving units that are mounted in a U-shape, which could represent an altar or the teeth in a clenched mouth. The shelves are encrusted with putty and cat litter, and filled with materials such as fruit, dental floss, animals’ chew toys, rose petals, chicken bones and chocolate. The artist plays on our desire for consumption by tempting the viewers to eat the citrus fruits and chocolate that are exhibited.

Lupo’s sculptures often refer to bodily phenomena although the human body itself is seldom represented in her works. The installation includes melons in various sizes that are used as symbols of the body. Melons are often used to indicate the size and development of a foetus. When the exhibition opens it will feature cantaloupe melons that are the equivalent of a foetus at 34 weeks, and five weeks later they will be replaced by small watermelons that correspond to a 39-week-old foetus.

Lupo’s work can be viewed as a further development, in sculptural form, of genres in art history such as the still life with its representations of fruit and other food. The work offers both a visual and a physical experience as the senses of taste and smell are invaded by alternately tantalising fragrances or repellent odours, depending on which phase of development the work has reached when the viewer visits it.


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