In his diverse body of work, Roxy Paine often deals with nature and artifice, particularly the tension between natural processes and the constructed environment. Encased in a glass box with a wooden floor and frames, the replica of a Datura plant in this piece has been domesticated. With leaves half-devoured by insects, it looks deceptively harmless—and still quite beautiful—in its decaying state. Nevertheless, the Datura is a dangerously poisonous plant. It contains scopolamine and atropine, which in very low doses can be used both as medications and as powerful hallucinogens, transporting the user to otherworldly states of consciousness. Yet, an overdose of these substances is fatal.
Thermoset polymer, oil, lacquer, epoxy, wood, glass
19 x 29 1/2 x 32 in. (48.3 x 74.9 x 81.3 cm)
Gift in honor of Charlotta Kotik, from the Contemporary Art Council and her colleagues at the Brooklyn Museum, with additional funds given by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Christensen III, Lillie R. DeBevoise, Zoe and Joel Dictrow, Lizanne Fontaine and Robert Buckholz, Mr. and Mrs. James R. Marshall, Dr. Margaret B. Nuzum, Mr. and Mrs. David W. Puth, Elsa and Marvin Ross-Greifinger, Hannelore B. Schulhof, Belle Tanenhaus, Dr. and Mrs. Richard J. Wagman, Jill C. Weinstein, Dr. Elissa Weinstein and Mark Weintraub
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