Of Pigs and Goats

Beer drinking pig

Beer? Did someone say beer? -- 2010

This pig has achieved local fame as one of St. Croix’s beer-drinking pigs, a rain-forest “attraction” for tourists. He is eagerly awaiting his next beer while the remains of the last froth down his chin. As long as he keeps drinking, he has nothing to fear from the barbeque pit.

In contrast, most goats do have something to fear. Stew goat, curry goat and goat water (soup) are favorite local dishes. Of course, a few like the billy below have higher value doing their jobs in the fields. The pigs and goats, animals eaten and not eaten, remind me of my grandfather who loved his cows and even would name them — and yet every fall would personally butcher one for meat for the winter. “Good old Bessie” he’d say as he presented a plate of steaks to the family for dinner. And he was right. She was good.

Billy goat

Billy - 2010

The Modern Butcher

The Butcher - 2009

The Butcher - 2009

I was slinking around the local warehouse food store with the camera the other day, and got this moody picture of the butcher, alone in his glass-enclosed cage. The image is a more recent extension of some of the work I did last month in preparation for an exhibit in Frederiksted.

The camera sees the colors of light so much more acutely than the eye. While we all know that retailers make the meat look redder with a little red in the light, it’s normally not so obvious. The two different qualities of light here – in the work room and on the counter – help deliver the message in this image.

The “Daily Strife” exhibit at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts opens Friday night, October 16. Six of my images were chosen to be part of the exhibit, including the one on the promotional flyer below. The show will be up until December 1, so stop in if you are on island.


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