The Mural

‘The Metastasis’ is a mural by Shelley Zentner inspired by Michael Pollen’s book, ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma’. Painted in oils on linen, measuring 5 x 12 feet. Commissioned by Robert Smith for his private apartment near Heavenly Village, South Lake Tahoe. Designs began in 2017, and the final brushstroke was laid down on Christmas Eve, 2020.

The overarching theme is interconnectedness. Using mycelium, lightning, human and animal vascular systems, and rivers as literal and symbolic branching networks. Shelley designed a complex vision based on Robert’s original ideas on the battle between the mainstream environmentally destroying food system tainted with cancer-causing chemicals and genetically modified organisms and alternative more sustainable approaches.

Included are many aspects of the American food industry and American culture, from factory farming to the fossil fuel industry, a history of agrochemicals, destructive government economic policies, alternative farming practices, celebrity chefs campaigning for real food and home cooking, and organizations like farm aid.