Val Sivilli – Artist Statement
The Feral lies just beneath the surface of the Human Animal.
The 6-foot portrait series entitled “BEAST” presents our angst ridden friends at human scale.
People collect animals. We collect them in zoos, in our homes, in our stories, in our popular culture.
We transform them into digestible versions of what they truly are. We try to humanize them. We observe animals in endless documentaries. We enslaved them to perform in the Circus. We infuse them with human traits through our movies, animations and literature.
We give them language skills, put clothing on them. We use them as symbols possessing mystical powers. We associate them with religious piety. We interact with them in our myths and fairy tales.
We attempt to domesticate them. Yet, ultimately, the animal is un-tame-able.
This un-tame-ability is reflective of the un-tame-ability of the planet itself. This un-tame-ability is nature. And ultimately, we are made of that same stuff of nature. The beast can speak truth to power. Animals mirror truth back onto the self. By not fearing wildness, but rather accommodating it, I believe we can create more balance in ourselves and our planet. Through my work, I strive to understand this better.