Todd Freeman


Print­mak­ing has a rich and col­or­ful his­tory in the nat­ural sci­ences, and I’ve always admired the strange and often over sim­pli­fied nature of old tax­on­omy prints. Bizarre scenes of spec­i­mens in old sci­en­tific vol­umes were com­monly recorded third or fourth hand from far-off reports or expe­di­tions. By the time these printed forms reached their audi­ences, they were often wildly dif­fer­ent than their orig­i­nal descrip­tions. My etch­ings are rooted in the tra­di­tional lan­guage of these tax­onomies; clean float­ing pre­sen­ta­tions that grant their sub­jects plenty of room for exam­i­na­tion. The sim­ple yet sharply author­i­ta­tive for­mat can val­i­date even the most implau­si­ble sub­jects. My prints draw their mate­r­ial from both the nat­ural and super­nat­ural king­doms. They ref­er­ence sto­ries of alleged anom­aly and legit­i­mate mar­vels, and serve as inert swatches from the nat­ural world.