Gila Monster - daytime
Neon Picture Object
Mixed media, threedimensional man made Gila Monster on acrylic,
piece of cactus, found in desert area of the south-western United States
green and orange neon installation, 13,5" x 13,5"
Gila Monster - nighttime
The neon light effect (of all Neon Picture Objects) is changing from daytime to nighttime.
These reptiles are valued for the healing powers they bestow upon shamans and shamanic initiates who seek them out as allies. Their tails are kept in the shaman's medicine basket and used when the shamans perform ceremonies or wish to contact nature spirits.
A gila monster's tail becomes thick with an abundance of food. As the stored fat is used up during periods of scarcity, the tail may lose up to 20% of its bulk. These lizards rely on taste and smell to track their prey and while hunting may be seen tasting the ground with their thick tongues. More than 95% of the gila monsters life is spent undergrond leading them to be inaccurately classified as nocturnal and rare. Their jaws have a powerful persistent grip, and their venom is not injected like that of a snake, but flows from glands along their lower jaws as they chew. Apart from the fact that the bite inflicts great pain, but rarely results in death for humans, the gila monster become the first poisonous reptile to be fully domesticated by man!