Rat King (Mixed Media)

Another page of Smash Journal. Collage, pen & ink, acrylic paint.

The elements were taken from some freebie magazine I found in a coffee shop. The article was actually on the hip hop group Ratking.

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But like Wiki, I’ve always found the idea of rat kings fascinating. Who am I trying to kid? I find everything about rats fascinating. ❤ So I made it into a living rat king on a throne. Though there seems to be a lot of back and forth as to whether rat kings actually existed or were hoaxes. Wikipedia suggests it was more likely to happen to the smaller black rat than the more common rattus norvegicus, who’s tails don’t seem to me flexible to get tied in knots anyway. Still other sites suggest the prevalence of these stories in Medieval times had more to do with living conditions back then—that it was the filth that caused the rats to get stuck together, as the passage above reads. There are mummified rat kings in a few museums in Europe, though some skeptics decry them as fakes.

Now in reality being in such a predicament would not bode well for the rats’ survival, and perhaps the notion of a rat king would be more of an apt metaphor for something like co-dependency or family dysfunction or such. But the Rat King I drew here is an even more fantastical creature, and symbolizes coexistence, unity, and harmony. Why the hell not? Rats are very sociable animals. Unless they’re squabbling over who’s turn it is to run on the wheel.

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