According to Mexican legend, Zanate, the Grackle, didn’t have a voice in the beginning. Being a trickster bird, he stole seven songs away from the sea turtles, leaving them silent and allowing him to burst with non-stop chatter. The grackles emit robotic, tapping whistles and complex, gurgling murmurs while sitting in parking lots, balancing above us on wires. Their remarkable repertoire also famously includes the melodious banging of sheet metal and looping crescendo that pleasantly combines a shotgun fire with the loud explosions of a high-speed car crash.
When these jolly little troublemakers form into groups, they are referred to as a "plague.” This plague of grackles painting is titled “Oil Slick,” referring to a layer of purple and blue swirls of oil floating on water, perhaps leaked from a ship. Though few species are as polarizing as these thoroughly urbanized birds, one thing is indisputable: their sheer numbers are a sign of their success and adaptability. They are perfectly comfortable around us and have profited greatly by human overpopulation.
Tiffany Bozic is a California-based artist who explores the natural world through her own metaphoric lens. Using fine attention to detail and the accuracy of Audubon, she makes paintings of exquisite beauty and rich meaning. As we begin to come to grips with what we have wrought of this Earth, her works place us squarely in nature, not apart from it. Bozic jokes that she was “raised by goats,” and that is not far from the truth: most of her youth was spent on a farm in rural Ohio. Now traveling worldwide with her daughter and ornithologist husband, she continues to expand her vision of what nature is, from gory to glory, from the minute to the mighty.
Ten percent of the proceeds from this edition will be donated to Art into Acres, an artist-founded nonprofit based in California. The environmental and art initiative is focused on large-scale land conservation that supports the climate, Indigenous peoples, and biodiversity.