Birds of a Feather

Art Series Featuring Avian-Human Hybrids Celebrates Diversity

French artist Lise Podhorodecki, loves to people-watch. She’s also got an eye for conflating several images, whatever catches her eye, fusing them into Frankestein creations with an artistic panache. Her Wildlife Collection is full of charming characters each with particular avian features.

“My work is about diversity. We come in all sorts of looks, shapes and sizes,” says Lise. “We appreciate it in other species and should be open to the idea when it comes to us. I do love hearing people’s thoughts around my work. Especially when stories are created around the characters themselves.”

It’s not hard to see how whimsical narratives might be constructed around Lise’s colourful creations, which seem to exude a sort of care free nonchalance, bold in their uncertainty. Lise displays a distinctively deft and light touch, using colour sparingly but to great effect.

We watched the world go by with Lise, to talk more about her work.

The Plus: Is this series based on specific people you observed?
Lise Podhorodecki:
Actually, it’s more a reconstruction of people. I recreate characters using different human figures that I bind together. For instance, Contre Nous is made from combining seven different photographs. I know that if I did not like observing people so much, I would have never started doing this series.

TP: How did you achieve such realism in the images? Did you visit a zoo?
I’m not a big fan of Zoos. I can’t get passed the cage thing. I usually just work from photographs. If needed, I Photoshop and mix different images and species together to get exactly what I want. The possibilities are endless. Oil paint is a pretty amazing medium, the colours are rich and allow me to capture the vibrancy of the subject.

TP: Will your next series feature wildlife animals as well?
I have not really thought of my next series. I do love painting birds. They have almost always been present in my work, even in a small way. I also enjoy playing with contrasts. Contrasting subject matter and contrasting materials. But to be honest, I can’t say. Something cool… Something BIG!