Pigeons and I have a complicated relationship. A couple of decades ago, I inhaled a fungus carried in pigeon droppings. Most city-dwellers have been exposed to it, but the common varieties are easily fought off, so most people never know they’ve had it. Not me, though. I got a special strain. I used to joke that I had squab disease. It was nearly the end of me. Luckily, thanks to a great (if unconventional) doctor, some very painful surgery, and months of horrible anti-fungal drugs, I eventually got rid of the infection. Though it wasn’t the birds’ fault, the whole ordeal left me feeling triggered by the things. I still find myself holding my breath whenever I pass under train trestles and other places where the creatures tend to nest (and crap).
Anyway, back to today’s art. These are the beautiful, character-filled pigeon portraits by Adele Renault. She infuses her subjects with so much personality and intelligence, I can almost, almost forgive them. On the other hand, since Renault often paints the creatures as building-high murals, their sheer size is also making me nervous. I had better just admire them (the birds and the art) from afar.