Wade Schuman
American, born 1962

A lover of zoology, Wade Schuman draws and paints meticulous images of animals—both their dead bodies and living forms—in still lifes or in absurd juxtapositions with human figures. His subjects often take on surreal hybrid forms in which figures morph into fish or cows, or their scale is manipulated in order to distort the viewer’s perspective. Schuman’s images are dense with allegorical meaning; in Gluttony (1989–90), a human figure-turned-fish constitutes a fable that warns against over-indulgence, while Penguin Head on a Pedestal (1992) symbolizes humanity’s fractured relationship with the natural world. “Almost all metaphor exists in nature,” Schuman says.

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