Did you know that, when an organ inside the human body is replaced, the native cells will commix with the non-native part to make the synthesis work fluidly? The prosthetic doesn’t always take, but the point is: nature is resilient and cooperative, even when humans re-direct its course.

LocalĀ artist Anne Percoco has created a number of projects over the past five years that deal with the indifference both humans and nature often show one another. For humans, the decision is immaterial, one of consciousness; for nature, the course is instinctual. Percoco plays with the unreal as a way of noting the many bridges between the two.

Her last project was titled Herbarium and was part of the 2014 In-Site (The Intersection of Art and Architecture) exhibition in the Village of South Orange, NJ.

For Percoco’s part, she took photographs of leafy plant-life, made enlarged prints, and wheat-pasted the results to a number of brick structures in the Jersey suburb. She says the surreal scale of these prints calls to mind an “unspecified future when nature will reclaim” the planet from humans; they’re also a celebration of nature’s “intrinsic value,” beyond its usefulness to humans.

Contemporary aesthetic uses for wheat-paste are mostly associated with street art. Icons like Shepard Fairey and Banksy employ the cheap art supply to their urban street works. Percoco is not merely a street artist, however. She’s created quilts made of botanical print-fabrics and made installations where garden shubbery is planted amidst wild-growing weeds.

AsĀ Herbarium was being taken down, a few months back, Percoco noticed, behind the pasted prints, that several larvae had used them as make-shift habitats, much as they would native leaves and vegetation. Art literally imitated life, proving once more that humans can synthesize and re-shape the natural elements to no end, but we’re still made of the same stuff. (Brian Chidester)