Beauty and the Beast | The Animal in Photography Exhibit @MOPASD

Artwork credit: Saccharine Perch by American Tom Chambers | 2009 | archival pigment print | shared by permission of MOPASD

Today I had my younger two kids to myself so I decided to take in an exhibit I heard about on NPR called Beauty and the Beast | The Animal in Photography at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego (or "MOPASD").

 artwork shared by permission of MOPASD

I don't commonly take my littlest ones to proper art exhibits, because the idea of looking at pictures on a wall and weighing in on their deeper meaning still strikes me as a little esoteric for 8-10 year-olds. You can see, above, an example of the physical exuberance that might be frowned upon in a quiet museum with highly-valued works of art on the wall.

 shared by permission of MOPASD

That said, I heard the subject was animals, and I knew this would pull them into the conversation a little more, so we gave it a go. The portrait above had a nondescript title by an Australian artist. I asked my son if he knew what the girl in the photo was holding in her hand and he very excitedly told me, "a boomerang!" I then wondered aloud, since there was no description on this piece, whether the fawn was sleeping or whether the girl had hunted it with that boomerang? Hopefully this is not me projecting too much, but I was guessing it had been hunted because the fawn's eyes were open, yet it was hanging limply over her shoulders. He agreed that this must be what was pictured.

The works on display really run the gamut, but they are all great conversation starters. The kids insisted that this was a photo of a Savannah cat just like our Gretel, and I had to agree:

 shared by permission of MOPASD

This portrait, of a man and dog in Namibia, probably depicts a bad dog! Or at least one prone to biting. God I hope it's not a hyena.

 shared by permission of MOPASD

There were some stunning bird pictures. Scarlett tried to make a bid for having this one installed in her room:

  artwork shared by permission of MOPASD

Or this one.

 shared by permission of MOPASD

As usual, some of the loveliest were still lifes. Here, a pheasant.

 shared by permission of MOPASD

If you have a child in your home who is obsessed with cats and plays cello, this may be the piece for her.

 shared by permission of MOPASD

Today was already a very Anthropomorphic day for me as I had just read this article about how the scientific community is in a bit of "Anthropodenial" these days. Then we saw this exhibit. It prompted great discussion points and emphasized again to me our difficulty - as humans - relating fairly to animals.

 Artwork credit: Tallulah and Jasmine by German Bettina Von Zwehl | 2015 | c-print | shared by permission of MOPASD
 Artwork credit: Untitled #471 by Dutch Hellen Van Meene | 2015 | c-print | shared by permission of MOPASD

The following are a couple of cat portraits. Not paintings! Fancy portraits, as though they are a proper lady and gentleman.

 Artwork credit: Cat with White Collar VI by Dutch Marie Cecile Thijs | 2015 | c-print | shared by permission of MOPASD

 Artwork credit: Cat with White Collar V by Dutch Marie Cecile Thijs | 2015 | c-print | shared by permission of MOPASD

 I mean you can really see why the kids would love this stuff.

 Artwork credit: The Grand Monkey Room 3, Chateau Chantilly by German Karen Knorr | 2014 | pigment print | shared by permission of MOPASD

And - bonus! - my weird affinity for taxidermy was also indulged.

The other major exhibit now at MOPASD is another treat: it is called Animals Among Us: 11th Annual Youth Exhibition. I paid particular attention to some pieces by our local Poway kids.

Artwork credit: Out for a Walk by Aiden Taylor of Twin Peaks Middle School | age 13 | shared by permission of MOPASD

 Artwork credit: Similarities by Tyler Merritt of Poway High School | age 17 | shared by permission of MOPASD

 Artwork shared by permission of MOPASD

 Afterward we had lunch and spied on the koi and mallards.

And then saw Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, which should be the cherry on top of the cake for fueling their bizarre dreams this evening!

Thanks for looking and happy art-walking!


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