There’s only a few more days to visit this amazing art exhibit/installation at the San Francisco Electric Works gallery. The Borderland Birds / Aves Fronterizas, works on paper by David Tomb, featuring work inspired by Tomb’s birding trips to the borderlands of the United States and Mexico will close this Saturday, May 29th.
For this exhibition, Tomb, a celebrated painter of portraits of people, brings his rigorous attention to birds. Secondary to dealing with the subject matter of birds, Borderland Birds / Aves Fronterizas also highlights the impact of the US-Mexico border fence; a project environmentalists say spells disaster for the sensitive ecology of the region. Beyond simple cataloging and rendering of the splendid birds of the borderland region, Tomb’s work calls to mind the plight of people who have to cross this border on a daily basis, a feat fraught with problems migrating birds do with relative ease.
Part drawing show, part installation, in the gallery Tomb recreates the sights and sounds of the borderland region by use of native vegetation and ambient sound recordings.
Viewers will be transported to two fragile and unique areas: the beautiful Sky Islands of Mexico/Southern Arizona and the Lower Rio Grande Valley that borders Mexico and Texas. While much of this habitat has been converted to corporate agriculture some remote hidden mountain canyons still harbor a rich trove of beautiful and rare creatures. Tomb’s exhibition will focus on the following species: Montezuma Quail, Aztec Thrush, Aplomado Falcon, and Coati.
Tomb combines experience in the field with research of bird specimens at the California Academy of Sciences and the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley. His final masterful renderings of the birds are life size and depict the birds in their natural habitat. As an avid birder, Tomb has been lucky enough to have his nerves rattled by the freaky chorus of Chachalacas in the thorny scrub and to have glimpsed the jewel-like Elegant Trogon during July monsoons.
Here are some photos from the exhibit:
all information and images courtesy of the gallery and the artist.
Tomb received his BFA from California State University Long Beach and has shown nationally and internationally.
Plants for the installation generously provided by The Dry Garden, Oakland.
The SF Electric Works Gallery site. For purchasing information, please contact Noah Lang via email or at 415.626.5496. Prices and availability are subject to change.
if you’re not familiar with Tomb’s figurative work, check out my post on that here.
the artist’s own website