SUBVERTING THE LANGUAGE OF WILDLIFE ART
The upbringing that I experienced occurred in homes decked to their ceilings in wildlife art. I consider works by rural artists, wherein fantasy moments are created depicting large deer in heterosexual pairings bedding in the snow, and pheasants flying up dramatically from harvested corn fields. For many from my region, these works are a vision of fine art. I take from the dominance of wildlife art throughout the Midwest an understanding that the identity of a region, and of the people who inhabit it, is defined by its natural environment. Most often these wildlife works are heavily romanticized, and plainly some degree of kitsch, but they are successful because it is a language the folk of rural America are fluent in. The commodified wildlife arts simply aim to raise the rose-tinted lenses between the countryman and the world around him. I am subverting the visual language of wildlife art to return queerness to rural America.