Flowers are pretty. They smell good (most of the time). They symbolize emotions like love, joy, and friendship. In aromatherapy the essential oils from flowers are used to promote health, wellness, and harmony. The same cannot be said for stomach of bull, duck tongues, deer eyelids, or chicken combs but somehow Heide Hatry brings out the beauty and emotion in these unlikely objects. I caught her exhibit “Not a Rose” at Stux Gallery this past weekend by happy chance. The photograph shown above caught my eye as I walked by in search of gelato. “What a gorgeous photograph of delicate blossoms,” thought I. Then I caught the caption, and I was hooked. There were maybe 40 photos on display, each one showcasing grotesque parts of animals shaped into lush, exotic, and gorgeous “flowers.”
I had a huge smile on my face as I moved from print to print, equal parts amazed and delighted at Hatry’s ability to pull beauty out of what most people would think gross. To me she’s proving that beauty and art are truly everywhere and in everything, from a deer esophagus to a sliced sheep penis. Take a step back and her “flowers” are as gorgeous as anything found in nature. Take a step closer and find the beauty in the disturbing.
Heide Hatry is a New York based artist from southern Germany.