Scratching 'The Itch' - The South End: Arts & Entertainment

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Scratching 'The Itch'

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Posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 11:25 am, Fri Apr 5, 2013.

Foxes don’t smoke. People do, however. And the things that people do often serve as inspiration for artists.

Wayne State senior Colleen Davis’ “The Itch,” a ceramic sculpture of a fox smoking a cigarette while using its right hind leg to scratch behind his ear, is a combination of her interest in nature, human habit and compulsion.

It is one in a series of three fox sculptures she did. One is texting and the third is fat and lazy.

“I’m kind of obsessed with small patterns and geology and the way humans and animals interact together, so that’s where the foxes came from,” Davis, 22, said.

Instead of a glaze, she used spray paint to color it. Whiskers on the piece are from her cat and, being a nonsmoker, she got the cigarette from a friend.

“I waited for them to fall off, and it’s kind of weird, but I’ve been collecting them for a while in a jar,” she said. “I think it’s because subconsciously I knew I’d be using them for something like this.”

Smoking is meant to go along with the urge to scratch, she said, and while many people feel strongly against smoking, she is indifferent.

After graduating in May, Davis said she will be in the Detroit area looking for residency somewhere and thinking about attending graduate school.

“But if I do that, I’d probably just be tempted to take more classes instead of doing something else,” she joked.

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