Books

Juxtapoz Wild: John Pusateri

December 29, 2015

Animals, birds in particular, started appearing in John Pusateri's work in 1999. "The West Nile virus had recently broken out and dead crows were everywhere," he tells us in Juxtapoz Wild. "I would find them, and other birds, every day on my walk to the printmaking studios at Syracuse University. They were laying on the ground, freshly dead and looked like they were just sleeping. I began to document this and make work about these birds."

"Owls are probably the most powerful birds that I work with for a few reasons. Their forward-facing eyes give them a presence and gaze that is unmistakable and, at times, unnerving. They are almost completely silent while flying and can seem to appear out of nowhere. Culturally, they are often messengers of death or bad luck, and this also adds to their power.

I have learned that owls have asymmetrically-positioned ear canals, one being higher up on the skull, and are able to perceive a prey's location with much more accuracy. I've also learned that birds with camouflage are difficult to draw as the pattern breaks up their form and disrupts how we perceive them. In New Zealand, they've been able to find out when certain invasive mammalian species arrived by dating the hundreds of years worth of owl pellets surrounding historic nesting site."

Read more about Pusateri and see his work in our newest book, Juxtapoz Wild, available in bookstores worldwide and online at shop.juxtapoz.com