According to the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder, Zeuxis and Parrhasius of Ancient Greece held a contest to determine who is the greater artist. Zeuxis unveiled his painting of grapes so real, birds flew down to peck at it. And when Zeuxis tried to pull back the cover on Parrhasius' painting, he realized the cloth was the painting. Zeuxis said, "I have deceived the birds, but Parrhasius has deceived Zeuxis." In a 1964 seminar, psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan observed that this myth revealed how animals are attracted to superficial appearances, but humans are enticed by what is hidden. My work attempts to appeal to both, our animal and human instincts.
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