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The Proliferation of Identity and Human Connection
Fungus, hair, agar, Petri dishes, lightbox
Hair is unique in that it not only holds one’s genetic code in its proteins but is also a marker of one’s physical identity. It is nurtured and stylized to the point where one’s hair is a key characteristic for an individual. For humans, hair (or the lack thereof) is a large part of one's identity. This veneration for hair only lasts as long as the hair is on one's head. Once it falls out, it is viewed as gross or nasty. However one may feel about strands of hair, one cannot deny the bond that the hair still has with its host. Similarly, a fungus cannot live without its host. The fungus growing in each petri dish comes from a sample from each individual's environment, and the potato dextrose agar aids its growth. 

As this work is comprised of many individuals’ hair and the fungus that could grow from their environment, this work is essentially a collection of portraits of the people around me. Since these are portraits of people I know, this work as a whole would also be a portrait of my environment. These people are all somehow weaved into my life and are then physically tied together with a lock of my own hair. When the hair that falls from an individual’s head, they become part of the environment they are in. With that occurrence alone, that person has unwillingly inserted themself into an environment. In time, as more hair falls into the environment, one’s connection with their environment grows. The work is not only a painting of individuals but also a reflection of myself and the human connection that occurs between us and nature in time.