March – April 2017 About The Cover
In 1705, botanist and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian published Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium, her fantastically detailed illustrations of plants and insects in Suriname. Her book was recently republished, but Dominique Paul has been fascinated by Merian’s work for several years, judging by her exhibition The Insects of Suriname, on view at Miyako Yoshinaga from April 20 to May 27. In the detail of Insects of Suriname 21, 2014, on our cover, fragments of (mostly male) bodies emerge out of the flora and fauna. Paul collages photographs from bodybuilding magazines onto Merian’s botanicals, lighting the image through various objects – water bottles, glass bowls, take-out containers – to produce a dappled affect, as if the sun were filtered through a canopy of trees. Upending gendered ideas about nature, the work feels very current in its emphasis on metamorphosis and possibility.