Platypus Art Party (March 2014, Amsterdam)

Inspired by the below quote, I asked nine of my favorite artists from different disciplines and at different stages in their careers to pay homage to the original outsider: the mighty platypus.

The artists, Claudia Hek, Dennis de Groot, Delicious Brains, Mr. Pen, Willem Weismann, Guen Douglas, TweeMuizen, Allison Guy and Geoff J. Kim, really delivered. The end result, the Platypus Art Party, was amazing. I am eternally grateful to all the artists for creating such amazing pieces and to everyone who came out and had a good time.

“Early zoologists classified as mammals those that suckle their young and as reptiles those that lay eggs. Then a duck-billed platypus was discovered in Australia laying eggs like a perfect reptile and then when they hatched suckling the infant platypus like a perfect mammal.The discovery created quite a sensation. “What an enigma!” it was exclaimed. “What a mystery! What a marvel of nature! ” When the first stuffed specimens reached England from Australia around the end of the eighteenth century they were thought to be fakes made by sticking together different bits of different animals. Even today you still see occasional articles in nature magazines asking “Why does this paradox of nature exist?” The answer is: it doesn’t. The platypus isn’t doing anything paradoxical at all. It isn’t having any problems. Platypus have been laying eggs and suckling their young for millions of years before there were any zoologists to come along and declare it illegal. The real mystery the real enigma is how mature objective trained scientific observers can blame their own goof on a poor innocent platypus.”

– Robert M. Pirsig, from Lila: an enquiry into morals

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