Without all of the clothes and the accessories of the modern Homo sapiens, human anatomy alone is quite strange and our smug arrogance, rather misplaced. Visualize a baby kitten next to a human infant, and you’ll see how oafish we must appear to surrounding species. New York-based artist Aurel Schmidt goes a step further to highlight our physical oddities by comparing human body parts to not even others mammals, but vegetation, in her collections of drawings titled “Fruits” and “Black Drawings.”
Created with colored pencil and graphite on paper, the dirty magic of Schmidt’s work comes through the juxtaposition of particularly familiar textures. The single nipple placed on the hardened, sutured green skin of the cantaloupe insists on how relatively defenseless our flesh rests under the epidermis. Pair the softly crumbling white insides of a banana leaf in “Untitled (Dick Banana)” against the bulging pink penis, and it’s nearly impossible to not feel the grip needed to complete the peel.