Jerry Takigawa’s “False Food” (the title is a grim pun on fast food) takes as its point of departure the facts that plastic doesn’t degrade and vast amounts of plastic waste end up in the Pacific Ocean, where it’s concentrated in an immense gyre, or vortex, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The name sounds funny. Its consequences are anything but. Birds and marine life, mistaking the plastic for food, eat it, cannot digest it, and die. Among those creatures are the albatrosses of Midway Atoll. It is we, in a very real sense, who are the albatrosses around their neck.
Takigawa’s images consist of bits of plastic removed from birds after they have starved to death because of swallowing these brightly colored bottle caps, chess pieces, toothbrushes, lighters, and the like. Takigawa places these items in rows or other arrangements so that they look like candy or sea shells. Then he photographs them against a handsome background, often blurred and usually black and white or gray, though in two instances the background is a Japanese geisha print.
The juxtapositions are at once attractive and jarring- and never more so than in a photograph where the plastic throwaways consist of a set of fishing lures.
- Mark Feeny, THE BOSTON GLOBE, 2015
What does the plastic cap on your water bottle have to do with the demise of albatross in the Pacific Ocean? In his solo exhibition, FALSE FOOD at Green Chalk Contemporary, February 1- March 8, Jerry Takigawa stirs us to question our relationship with plastic. This current body of work includes selections from Takigawa’s recent exhibition at the Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco. The exhibit also features plastic artifacts retrieved from the remains of albatross on Midway Island in a display piece loaned to the gallery from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. A reception for the artist is on Saturday, February 1, 2014, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
False Food is named for specific elements present in each image in the series: plastic artifacts—which the albatross mistake for food, leading to their ultimate death. Generously loaned to the artist by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, these artifacts have been aesthetically incorporated into a series of personal and unique images. The images are presented in concert with excerpts from the text of Grace in Uncertainty, a recent publication authored by Takigawa.
JoAnn Edwards, Executive Director of the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco writes, “Jerry Takigawa’s work, while showing us a quiet beauty, embodies a powerful purpose that immediately commands our attention. The relevance of his photographic documentary to our fragile environment brings our awareness to a heightened state of consciousness and concern.”
This exhibition runs through March 8, 2014. Green Chalk Contemporary is located at 616 Lighthouse Avenue in Monterey and is open Tuesday through Friday from 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm and on Saturday 12:00- 5:00 pm or by appointment (831) 601-0354.
About Jerry Takigawa
Jerry Takigawa, the first photographer to be awarded the Imogen Cunningham Award for color work, began photographing in 1969. His work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum or Modern Art, The Crocker Art Museum, The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Library of Congress in Washington DC. His work is currently on view at the Monterey Bay Aquarium: Ocean Travelers Plastics Gallery.
About Green Chalk Contemporary
Green Chalk Contemporary believes that artists of all cultures have taken on the responsibility to be the risk-takers for all of us. Creativity is nothing if not a stepping into the unknowable or unsayable. We love the ideas artists bring to us and how their work enriches our lives. Artists are a fundamental force driving the evolution of our consciousness and well-being.
Our mission is to create a community around the celebration of the creative act and bring a select group of uniquely accomplished artists to an appreciative audience. We believe the Green Chalk Contemporary platform advances an uncommon opportunity for artists, curators and the public to discover, to learn, and to acquire contemporary artwork.