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Brienna McLaughlin Pruce - paintings

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Through my paintings, I hope to reinforce our connection to other living beings and remind us of the fragility of life. …

Through my paintings, I hope to reinforce our connection to other living beings and remind us of the fragility of life.

It is my hope that we recognize ourselves as the betta, and our world as a plastic cup.


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  • 1. Brienna McLaughlin Pruce http://brienna.net
  • 2. Confinement acrylic on canvas, 47" x 47" 2007
  • 3. A crowntail displays its fins to fight a dead fish. acrylic on canvas, 47" x 47" 2007
  • 4. Their colors live outside their contained existence acrylic on canvas, 35" x 47" 2007
  • 5. Male and female betta oil on canvas, 48" x 66" 2006
  • 6. Betta fish are considered disposable items that can be checked out, returned (dead), and discarded much like cheap plastic toys.
  • 7. Water dyed blue oil on canvas, 47" x 47" 2006
  • 8. Stacked to the ceiling oil on canvas, 95" x 54" 2006
  • 9. Fish are foreign, and we have difficulty feeling sorry for something other than ourselves. oil on canvas, 54" x 190" 2007
  • 10. Magnifying bettas to human scale and portraying their environment from a fish eye perspective provokes the question: what if that dying fish were me?
  • 11. The beginning and the end mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 12. Inside their world mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 13. Bettas stored in picnic cups mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 14. Prices on a blue tank mixed media, 10" x 30" 2007
  • 15. Isolated amidst many mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 16. The betta fish signify the trapped and suffering animals of the world.
  • 17. Little living paintings mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 18. One empty tank mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 19. Betta Tanks I mixed media, 10" x 30" 2007
  • 20. Betta Tanks II mixed media, 10" x 30" 2007
  • 21. Fish in glass bowls mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 22. Fish in plastic cups mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 23. The betta is the overlooked, forgotten animal, merely appreciated for superficial aesthetic qualities; it represents all of our shallowness and pain.
  • 24. Fish Eye VI mixed media, 10" x 10" 2006
  • 25. Fish Eye VIII mixed media, 6" x 6" 2006
  • 26. Fish Eye X mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 27. Their existence is a plastic cup with barely enough water to survive.
  • 28. Fish Eye XII mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 29. Fish Eye XIII mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 30. Fish Eye XIV mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 31. Through my paintings, I hope to reinforce our connection to other living beings and remind us of the fragility of life.
  • 32. The manager said, “Next time, call before visiting so I can move the betta fish into tanks because people often get upset by images of fish in cups.” mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 33. A child found a fish wedged between the tank dividers, dying. mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 34. Someone asked, “Which one do you want to save?” mixed media, 10" x 10" 2007
  • 35. Our own living and working environments are not much better with apartments stacked sky-high and claustrophobic cubicles providing barely enough room to move. acrylic on canvas, 95" x 54" 2007
  • 36. It is my hope that we recognize ourselves as the betta, and our world as a plastic cup.