There’s something gleefully unsettling about Paul Paiement’s “Hybrid” paintings. They seem innocent enough, a straightforward pop-art treatment of entomological portraits spliced with consumer products. But Paiement’s works lack any sort of easy symmetry, and as the eye is pulled back and forth picking out the details, paint tubes get snuck into pronotums, and mp3 players play Mullerian mimicry with coccinellids. Oversized half-tone patterns bleed over the images, recalling acid-blotter art. Moreover, what appear at first to be digital photo-collages are in fact egg tempuras, acrylics, and photogravures, all in service to enjoyable visual and entomological puns and humor, right down to their scientifically-named paintings.
Though a great many of them are collected in book form, Here’s hoping his works turn up in a gallery again soon. I would love to see these up close!
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