Goat

Tree cutting, copper tubing assembled with stainless steel screws and epoxy; two color Portland cement mixes with metal foil and wire reinforcement; sealer

2016

Dimensions: 51x 45 x 40

 

When I saw this tree cutting, it instantly reminded me of a goat’s head, with its long thin face and beard. The likeness is distant—in an almost Surrealist/Cubist way—but somehow I couldn’t shake it. Goat is plant matter being repurposed as animal iconography, celebrating the way our minds work in “seeing things” in nature and how we get spooked. Goat is not so much about goats (although I am really fond of them) as it is about that innate tendency—gift, really—to see things where they don’t exist, and therefore about us. Oh and a word of thanks to the tree-cutter who might have seen the goat too!

Curious fact: The scientific term for seeing faces in inanimate objects is pareidolia, and it is present in other animals as well as humans.

© 2018 Phillip Stern