Wk 5 – Art Work – Ian Robertson-Salt

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This weeks art work was easy for me to connect to as well. Mostly because it reminds me of my hometown in India. The art work is called “Know Your Food” and was done by Ian Robertson-Salt in the Werby Gallery. As a kid growing up in India you see a lot of crazy things. One of those things would be the animals freely roaming the streets. In most parts of India you will encounter free roaming dogs, cats, goats, cows, and of course chickens. Chicken is a genderless term. Hen is the female version of a chicken and they lay the eggs. A rooster is the male chicken and one or maybe two might be part of a group of hens to encourage egg laying. Lastly, the chick refers to the younglings which can be of either sex. I learned this from my parents when I was young because my grandparents have a small family farm with cows, chickens, and horses. This was in the village area of India, I use to live in a three story apartment building in the city of Bombay. I still remember how I use to chase chickens around on the streets and get chased away by cows. On the ground floor lived a lady who owned several chickens for the purpose of laying eggs so there were always roosters and hens roaming around the building. The different hands in the art work remind me of those fun times I had as a little boy chasing and trying to catch chickens. It was interesting to see that the artist drew a rooster and not a hen. From my experience hens are easier to catch compared to roosters. Along with the rooster there is a blindfolded boy with an empty plate in front of him. To figure out what motivated Ian to draw this I went outside the gallery to see if he was present, but he was not available that day. Fortunately another artist, Francis Greco, from Ian’s art group was there so I asked him the only question that I really had, “Did Ian come from foreign lands, like myself, where animals such as cows and chickens are free to roam the streets without getting slaughtered?” Francis told me that Ian is from the United States and from what he knows Ian has never traveled to foreign lands before. So I started to wonder if the artist may be talking about the McDonalds chicken nuggets scandal. I would know about this because my first job in high school was at McDonalds and more than half of America eats McDonalds once a day, myself excluded. I feel that the artist is questioning the audience if they know about the quality of the meat they consume. In this case it was chicken which led me to my chicken nugget conclusion. Overall the painting really drew me in because it reminded me of my childhood. I hope to go back to India and visit soon.

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