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Roxy Paine,
American, born 1966

Psilocybe Cubensis Field, 1997

2,200 polymer mushrooms with lacquer and oil paint, dimensions variable Purchase, New York Contemporary Art Acquisitions Committee of American Friends of the Israel Museum B01.0319

Psilocybe Cubensis Field is a faux-natural environment consisting of 2,200 life-size polymer mushrooms, individually molded and painstakingly hand-painted, that seem to sprout directly from the floor. The coloration and size of each mushroom are distinct, and they are spread out in loose and irregular clusters to mimic their natural growth pattern. It would be almost impossible to distinguish these mushrooms from real ones were it not for the context in which they exist. The fabricated mushrooms’ hyperrealistic appearance, however, suggests the hallucinatory effects of psilocybin mushrooms – a psychoactive species more commonly known as “magic mushrooms.” (Lisa Mark in: Ecstasy: In and About Altered States, exh. cat., The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2005, pp. 110 –11)

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