Of Birds and Men
American Redstart and Al.jpg

Of Birds and Men is a series of 27 portraits of men in power accused by women of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual assault, facing a bird with the same letter as their name. There is one portrait for each letter of the alphabet, A-Z, and a final portrait that is a generic bird and man, allowing the viewer to insert their own bird or abuser into the series. Each bird is precisely painted with watercolor and the men are drawn with pen and ink, creating full color birds contrasting with the black and white portraits of the men.

 

This work is meant to represent a dialogue between mother nature (bird) and mankind (man), a gentle reckoning from a higher power. Birds are harbingers of ill deeds, like the canary in the mine, they alert us to problems through their heightened sensitivity. They are delicate, beautiful and surprisingly fierce, and seem up to the task of facing these men and holding them accountable for their actions. 

 

These specific men are not important, other than to show how pervasive sexual abuse is in our power structures. They are stand ins for all the men A-Z who have abused their power against women. Part of this dialog is to look at the relationship between how we treat women and how we treat the environment. The same abuse, neglect and disregard is perpetrated against both, by men in powerful positions. 

 

Although the bird and man are facing each other, the bird is actually looking at the viewer, because non-predatory birds have eyes on the side of their head. My intention is to bring the viewer into the dialog. Ultimately, we are all responsible for creating culture, and we all can be part of the conversation, as well as the solution.

 

-Laura Milkins

American Redstart and Al
American Redstart and Al

2018 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Bluebird and Bill
Bluebird and Bill

2018 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Chickadee and Clinton
Chickadee and Clinton

2018 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Dickcissel and Donald
Dickcissel and Donald

2018 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Eurasian Blue Tit and Ed
Eurasian Blue Tit and Ed

2018 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl and Farenthold
Ferruginous Pygmy Owl and Farenthold

2018 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Golden-crowned Kinglet and Garrison
Golden-crowned Kinglet and Garrison

2018 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Hummingbird and Harvey
Hummingbird and Harvey

2018 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Indigo Bunting and Isabella
Indigo Bunting and Isabella

2019 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Junco and John
Junco and John

2019 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Kirtland Warbler and Kavanaugh
Kirtland Warbler and Kavanaugh

2018 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Lapland Longspur and Louis
Lapland Longspur and Louis

2018 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Marsh Wren and Matt
Marsh Wren and Matt

2018 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Northern Waterthrush and Neil
Northern Waterthrush and Neil

2018 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Orange-crowned Warbler and O'Reilly
Orange-crowned Warbler and O'Reilly

2019 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Purple Finch and Piven
Purple Finch and Piven

2019 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Quail and Quinton
Quail and Quinton

2019 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Red-breasted Nuthatch and Rose
Red-breasted Nuthatch and Rose

2019 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Scaly-breasted Munia and Sakyong
Scaly-breasted Munia and Sakyong

2018 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Tree Swallow and Tyson
Tree Swallow and Tyson

2019 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Upland Sandpiper and Uresti
Upland Sandpiper and Uresti

2019 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Vermillion Flycatcher and Vince
Vermillion Flycatcher and Vince

2019 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

White Throated Sparrow and Wayne
White Throated Sparrow and Wayne

2019 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Xema-Sabini and XXXTentacion
Xema-Sabini and XXXTentacion

2019 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Yanni
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Yanni

2019 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

Zonotrichia Leucophrys and Zwerdling
Zonotrichia Leucophrys and Zwerdling

2019 watercolor and pen on paper 11x14 inches (27.94 x 35.56 cm)

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