Months after a painting of two broccolis having sex was stolen from the Enchanted Broccoli Forest, the painter of the original has created a new work in the series. Produced during this quarter’s Creation Day, the new painting again features two anthropomorphized broccolis having sex.
Diverse subject matter to combat heteronormativity
Despite hanging the painting in the old painting’s location, the motivation to create the new piece was not to replace the old one, said artist India Emerick ’15.
“I would really like the original back because I think they would make a cool series,” she said. “But I made the first one on our fall Creation Day, and on our winter quarter Creation Day, I just decided it would be cool to do a different sexual position and, you know, mix it up.”
The new painting features two female-bodied broccolis engaging in oral sex while the stolen painting had shown a presumably heterosexual pair in copulation.
“We really took the stolen painting as an opportunity to combat heteronormativity in EBF and produce something that maybe talks to some different groups and different kinds of people,” said Imani Howard ’15, the community manager who originally discovered, back in November, that the painting had been stolen. “We have people here of all vegetable persuasions so we really wanted to feed them all.”
The original title, “Eat Your Vegetables,” came from a Facebook comment Emerick read. She believed it was a double entendre, given that this friend is a “cunning linguist,” so it was apt for her painting’s subject matter to play on both meanings.
Continuing with this dual vegetable metaphor, Emerick hopes to create more art that reflects the diversity of human sexuality.
“Next quarter [I’m] probably going to make a more inclusive, all-vegetable-and-fruit orgy,” Emerick mused.
New security measures
Despite a “complete radio silence” on the old painting’s whereabouts, Emerick and Howard are hopeful that the original painting will return, given the precedent for finding stolen paintings and this particular work’s rather conspicuous subject matter.
When asked if she had given up, Howard said, “Absolutely not, we had a painting stolen last year during fall, and it got returned during spring.”
“Hopefully we’ll get it back,” Emerick added. “I feel like the word spread pretty far.”
To protect the new painting, they are looking into extra security measures such as more secure bolts to fasten it to the wall and potentially a new, more prominent — and thus better protected — location in the main lounge. For now, “Eat Your Vegetables” rests in the first painting’s location, but they have sealed the door nearest to the work of art for its protection.
“The door that we believe the first painting was stolen through is now permanently sealed,” Howard said.
In the meantime, though the new painting is displayed, they hope for the public’s help in finding the old painting and want to remind people that it could be in a variety of spaces, like a bush or someone’s dorm.
“We’re relying on word of mouth to try to find the old one,” Emerick said.