The federal massacre of 300 geese and baby geese this summer in Prospect Park has provoked outrage, protests, and endless coverage by our staff. Now, it’s even become the subject of an iconic piece of art.
I mean “iconic” literally.
Park Slope artist Jonathan Blum — you know him from his paintings of whimsical dogs and rabbis (and often both) — was so bothered by the jack-booted, middle-of-the-night bird slaughter in July that he painted “A Canada Goose Goes to Heaven,” a tribute featuring a waterfowl with a halo.
It follows a centuries-old tradition of religious iconography, equating the dead birds to martyrs to humanity’s need to get across the country in three hours. The work captures the bird in a bold pose against the grandeur of a park landscape.
It’s yours for $800.
But wait, there’s more.
A portion of the sale price will go to a goose-related charity, said Blum.
“To this day, I still am very affected by that slaughter — I can’t even say why,” he said the other day at his Fifth Avenue studio. “Partly, it was the way it was done, you know, in the middle of the night without any warning. Partly, it was the notion that we just have to get the birds out of our way so we can fly in our airplanes.
“I’m not a lunatic, but doesn’t that just sound so wrong?” he added.
So, yeah, maybe this quasi-religious painting is preaching to the converted, but then again, who would pay $800 for a painting of Tupper Thomas with a halo?
Jonathan Blum’s studio sale [285 Fifth Ave. between First and Second streets in Park Slope, (917) 855-6564], Dec. 11–12, noon-6 pm.