Just like dogs, humans have been breeding pigeons selectively to tease out certain characteristics buried within the genetic code of the birds. Color patterns, size, shape, feather style and a variety of other traits can be pulled out from the common feral pigeon that we find on the streets of our cities.
These paintings are based on the photographs of champion birds that are shown and judged in pigeon shows much like dog shows. The reality of this practice says more about us than it does about pigeons. Where does our desire to create new forms, to control our environment and push the bounds of what is possible within the bounds of nature.
Charles Darwin addressed the practice of pigeon breeding in the first chapter of Origin of Species. The practice of "pigeon fancying" was common in London in his day, and he joined several pigeon fancying clubs, eventually taking up the past time himself. He believed, correctly, that if he bred his fancy pigeons together they would eventually return to the form of the original pigeon, the blue-bar black and gray pigeon of our streets. He was correct.