"At the intersection of science and art, documentary and fantasy, the beautiful and the grotesque lies the work of Alexis Rockman, whose meticulously rendered paintings fascinate, amuse, and alarm us - often simultaneously - as they explore the relationship between man and nature." "A native New Yorker who frequented the American Museum of Natural History as a boy, Rockman is inspired by botanical and zoological illustrations, as well as early-twentieth-century murals and dioramas. Yet his work goes beyond those genres to portray, with dark humor, a variety of mutated and mutant animals (such as square cows and featherless chickens), interspecies couplings, and macabre visions of a future world defined by man's interventions that are the result of genetic engineering, pollution, and a loss of biodiversity. Sometimes nature strikes back: in The Ecotourist, for instance, the artist wryly depicts his own decaying corpse lying in the rain forest as an array of exotic creatures come to feed on him." "This illustrated volume is the first to offer a comprehensive overview of Rockman's oeuvre, from his early works, such as the fascinating yet disquieting Aviary, in which birds perch against a blood red sky, to his more recent Expedition series, inspired by the artist's field studies in the rain forests of Brazil and Guyana. Rockman's intense palette is captured in full-color images - over 225 in all. Important large-scale works, such as A Recent History of the World (58 x 255 3/4 inches) and Evolution (96 x 288 inches), are reproduced here with foldout pages that convey the scope and detail of his paintings. Ancillary illustrations - everything from Albrecht Durer's Young Hare to production drawings from Willis O'Brien's King Kong (1933) - point up the eclectic influences that invigorate Rockman's art and thinking: science-fiction iconography, Dutch still lifes, special effects in film, and ideas about the sublime." "Complementing the visual documentation of Rockman's work is commentary by the artist himself, culled from interviews conducted especially for this volume. Three incisive essays further elucidate the scientific and artistic influences on Rockman's art; at the same time, the authors describe how Rockman has broken with those traditions to create a unique, powerful, and at times haunting vision of the collision between man and the natural world."--Jacket.