Have you every looked at a sheep and immediately had thoughts about the universe, the meaning of life and the awe-inspiring billions of stars littering our skies? If you haven’t (and that’s ok, I guess), you will now after looking at Lauren Marx’s intricate zoological-meets-cosmological drawings. Marx maintains that she’s been animal-obsessed from an early age and through her passion for biology, she began to dabble in the other sciences so that cosmology soon became a second passion. In 2012, she combined these two loves into a single drawing called Galactic Collision. She’s used that piece as her guiding artistic vision ever since.
In Bowtie Nebula, which functions as a mirror image, a deer’s (or is it gazelle? Maybe I need to take a biology class) taut body begins to decompose – its muscle and bone showing through at the ribcage, haunches and head. Out of this decay, blackbirds begin to emerge with strings of guts trailing behind them. The twisting body of the deer seems to be floating in mid-air, in the foreground of nothingness. My description here skews dark though the composition does suggest rebirth, the circle of life and natural order – all things that bring hope and renewal. Marx is skilled at manipulating otherwise unsavory aspects of the animal world to celebrate the natural world – both earth and sky.