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Dayak fruit bat

Gwenn Seemel
Father and child (Dayak fruit bat)
2012
acrylic on panel
10 x 10 inches

I painted many fathers and babies for this series, but I’ve not done that many among my paintings of humans, unless you count this one or this full family portrait.

Father and child is actually based on a famous painting of the Virgin and Child by Jean Fouquet, something I discuss in this vlog about the making of the painting and also in my talk for TEDxGeneva in 2014. That presentation is called “In defense of imitation” and you can see it here.

Below is the text from the book Crime Against Nature that goes with this image—the book can be read and purchased here.

Sometimes boys feed babies.

Among mammals, the female tends to be more involved in childcare than the male since the young gestate inside the female’s body where the male cannot access them. That said, not all male mammals fail to parent actively. For example, male Dayak fruit bats can produce milk to feed their young from their nipples.