(190) BERKELEY HORICULTURAL NURSERY (Francesca & Monique):

Edition of 1699 of which 125 copies are signed 1-125; 26 are signed A-Z as artist's proofs, XX copies are signed as dedication copies and three sets are signed as progressives.

February 16, 2001, 16 colors, 17-1/2" x 24"

Client: Paul Doty, Berkeley Horticultural Nursery, 1310 McGee Avenue, Berkeley California 94703

Model: Francesca & Monique Comacchio

Influence: Ando Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)

Dedication copies: Francesca & Monique Comacchio, Paul Doty, Chris Thompson,
Progressives: 1 set to Paul Doty; 1 set to Domenico, Monique & Francesca Comaccio; 1 set to Saint Hieronymus Press.

Francesca Angela Comacchio, dimpling infant, in posing with her mother Monique was introduced to her very first apple. Initially wary of the unfamiliar fruit, the child warmed to it when her mother took a bite, thus proving that it was safe and palatable. Francesca then gummed the crisp sweet Fuji to rags in a transport of delight, getting the most of it on herself, her mother and the floor. Francesca now has two teeth, likes apples and -- when she thinks of it -- demands them, gnawing the cool succulent flesh which miraculously becomes her own soft pinkness.

The food we're raised with is the food we like all our lives long. Food we did not encounter at our mother's knee is food toward which we harbor a mistrust, a real reluctance to regard as suitable for human consumption. Food is the great divider and uniter, a shorthand for the foreign and exotic: the Englishman is the Limey; the Frenchman the Frog; the German the Kraut. Religious dietary laws effectively prohibit exogamy: how can you possibly marry someone with whose family you cannot eat? Can an Orthodox Jew sit down in any comfort to a pork chop? Can an Englishman pop tasty grubs into his mouth with any relish? Would roast dog delight the heart of a Mohammedan? These things I tend to doubt.

But we children of Eve can all, at least, agree on figs and apples, and that's a start.