Peters Projects of Santa Fe is pleased to present I Forget I’m Human, a new body of work by Donald and Era Farnsworth. In I Forget I’m Human, the Farnsworths address the relationship between humanity and the environment, investigating how myth and science have shaped human values from ancient times to the present day.
Both the content and the techniques used to create the works in this exhibition reflect a desire to find common ground across centuries and borders. Nearly all of the compositions in I Forget I’m Human include both hand-painted and digitally generated elements, creating a palimpsest-like effect that echoes the layers, patinas, and weathered wabi-sabi of works that have survived from ancient times while also incorporating contemporary digital processes.
The Farnsworth’s tapestries use a medium older than oil on canvas – weaving, albeit updated by 19th-century Jacquard and 21st-century digital color matching technologies. Their Art Notes series ‘recycles’ and re-imagines one-dollar bill notes, re-envisioning the “Almighty Dollar” as a base wherein to celebrate heroes of creativity and conservation, and to playfully castigate polluters and oligarchs. A series of works depicting therianthropic (animal-human hybrid) deities harkens back to those appearing in the earliest surviving human artworks while also incorporating elements from Buddhist, Hindu, Judeo-Christian, Islamic and Jungian iconographies.
From ancient gods with the heads of animals to living, breathing endangered species; from the capitalistic fever for accumulated wealth to precious natural resources like clean air and water, what we value is evident in the symbolic and visual output of our species: our myths and sacred images. I Forget I’m Human offers a glimpse of the hubris of humanity matched with an optimistic appeal for spiritual and ecological balance.