I found this image in an on line gallery called “Weird and Bad Art.”
The artist is Mark Ryden (contemporary) and I really like this “Weird and Bad Art,” by which the title of the piece is “Birth of a Parsnip.” Like I said (in a previous post) appreciating art is often subjective. I found this painting very interesting. Strange, yes (in an interesting way) but certainly not bad.
My first thought upon seeing Birth of a Parsnip was of the Foot Soup episode of Lost Girl, which was episode 6 of Season One, “Food for Thought.”
Why did I think of that episode? I’m not really sure. The first thing that came to mind was that the sick looking Parsnip reminded me a lot of poor Halima; the nice (Aswang) Fae Lady who became ill from the toxic human foot she put in her soup. This Parsnip has the same sort of body language going on as Halima did. And also the worried look on it’s face (although it’s apparently giving birth so the discomfort is understandable). In general, the overall feel of the Parsnip situation reminded me of Halima.
The overall bizarreness of the entire situation is notable. I don’t know what that rubbery animal is that is being used for the Parsnip’s transfusion? Is it a Blue Mouse?
And that nurse looks a little psychotic! What kind of Doctor is this Doctor? A Vegetable Doctor? All this “Weirdness” reminded me of some of the “Weirdness” that Lost Girl plays with often, and pulls off nicely.
One of my favorite lines was from Doctor Lauren trying to figure out Halima’s illness.
“I’m not liking what I’m seeing…could it be due to someone you ate?” That line is delivered with such sincerity, so deadpan, and yet it’s completely hilarious and utterly ridiculous. However, as viewers, we know we’ve entered a world where, yes, these Fae are a completely different species than us humans.
And so the idea of a Blue Mousey figure being used as the means to transfuse a Parsnip isn’t really that bizarre. No more so than a Green Snaky creature (the Basilisk) being used as the source of transfusion (anti-toxin) to heal Kenzi.
We have Doctors and Nurses (or helpers, such as Bo) and strange gadgetry and medicines and stuff.
If you combine the colors of Halima’s blanket (deep red) and the dim lighting in her room they compare nicely to the top portion of the Parsnip painting; the deep red drapes, the beiges, and the shadows. Whereas, the lower half of the painting is almost as toxic in it’s brightness (as well as the hue) as that of the lighting and aquarium at the chemical company.
At one point in the episode Trick trades a valuable chain necklace for an Abath Horn.
What is an Abath? Do you know? I don’t (well, the wiki says it’s the horn from a female unicorn). This Abath horn is ground into tea to keep Kenzi’s hemorrhaging at bay while Lauren and Bo are off hunting toxic Basilisks at the chemical company.
What is The Food for Thought ? Kenzi mooched (a meal) like she is known for doing and paid a high price? The Fae eat people like we do animals and don’t think twice about it ? Unless it makes them sick? Do you like to eat Parsnips? Did the Parsnip have a successful delivery? I have no idea but I enjoyed looking at this painting and seeing some strange parallels with this Lost Girl episode.
As a p.s. Mark Ryden is an accomplished contemporary artist who has designed album covers for Aerosmith and Michael Jackson, as well as illustrating book covers for authors such as Stephen King.
(from the Wiki) Ryden’s solo debut show entitled “The Meat Show” was in Pasadena, California in 1998. Meat is a reoccurring theme in Ryden’s work. Ryden observes the disconnect in our contemporary culture between meat we use for food and the living, breathing creature it comes from. “I suppose it is this contradiction that brings me to return to meat in my art.” According to Ryden, meat is the physical substance that makes all of us alive and through which we exist in this reality. All of us are wearing our bodies, which are like a garment of meat.”