Laurel Roth >> A More Interesting Damien Hirst?

"Food #4, Pig," 2008.

 Laurel Roth's motifs of death, consumerism, and consumption have an echo of Damien Hirst's famous pieces involving skulls, diamonds, etc., but I actually think Roth makes more interesting and thoughtful use of her materials, and the body of her work suggests a deeper line of thinking than Hirst's.

"English Bull Dog," 2007. 

Though I do have a lot of respect for Hirst and what he's managed to do in the art space, half the point of his pieces sometimes seems to be giving the middle finger to the art world, as if he's just seeing how much he can get away with, and how much money he can make doing it.  

Roth, on the other hand, seems to be legitimately exploring the darker aspects of human nature (consumption, consumerism, greed) and the dynamics between ourselves and the animals we both eat and love.
 "Great Dane," 2008.

The piece at top is from the series "Food," with the top piece titled "Pig," and the following pieces are various breeds of dogs, from the series "Man's Best Friend."  Roth hand carves these pieces herself, out of walnut, vera wood, or acrylic, and embellishes them with gold leaf and Swarovski crystals.

"Chihuahua," 2007.

Below, two pieces from her "Peacocks" series, made of fake nails, hair clips, fake eyelashes, and dime store jewelry.

See more at Roth's website here.

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