On View:  June 18 – September 14, 2019

Diana Puntar:
Meat Rock… Rockers

Artist Statement

California’s 5-year drought has ended. From 2012–2016 much or all of California was under severe drought conditions, with greatly diminished precipitation, snowpack, and streamflow and higher temperatures. Water shortages to forests, aquatic ecosystems, hydroelectric power plants, rural drinking water supplies, agriculture, and cities caused billions of dollars in economic losses, killed millions of forest trees, and brought several fish species closer to extinction.

Meat Rock is a series of sculptures that combine found rocks collected from a dry creek bed on the Central Coast of California during the drought. They are combined with pedestal-like forms adorned with polished studs much like punk and goth leather jackets. They support and display the organic meat rocks which are made up of red jasper, an aggregate of mineral crystals high in iron with streaks of quartz that give them a distinctive meat like appearance. I felt like a surgeon collecting these prehistoric remnants from the earth.

The rocks, pebbles, and small boulders represent the fragility of our current geological era, and are evidence of damage done. I imagine these anthropomorphized hard lumps of inert matter as proof of consciousness and vulnerability, evidence of our connection to each other and the organic world. I’m fascinated by their age and persistence as much as their corporeal appearance. They are at once beautiful and grotesque; vulnerable body parts from a delicate world that emerged from one of California’s deepest, longest, and warmest historical droughts.

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Diana Puntar