Garden-variety Beauty

If Narcissus Had Been A Potato ...

The Daily Pic: Elli Chung contemplates veggie aesthetics.

04.19.13 2:44 PM ET

This lovely, funny image is by Elli Chung, from her show at Julie Saul Gallery in New York. The title is “KAWA AKAGO, An Infant Monster Who Lurks Near Rivers and Drowns People” – the show illustrates moments from Japanese folk tales – but that name does not at all reflect my first impressions of the photio. I saw this naked tuber as entirely within the Western tradition of nude beauties on riverbanks, with echoes of Titian and Courbet’s “White Stockings”. Rather than seeing a threat in it, I found a note of sadness, as the vegetable contemplates its failure to live up to that aesthetic and erotic tradition. 

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