Animal art was likely the first art trend that ever existed.
In the earliest days of art – back when a collection of pre-historic caves was the world’s art capital – human beings often turned to animals as the subject matter for their art.
We have noticed this impulse, which has endured multiple millennia, has a strong resurgence in the art world of today.
So from our release of new artwork, here are 5 fauna-focused works:
Marti Leroux invites her viewers on a peaceful and soulful journey that transcends the humdrum of daily live. The tiny songbirds, perched on abstract pink and red blossoms, become symbols of liminality between this world and another. The sky, with its bright white and rouged haziness, has a celestial undertone. The birds, which are often used as symbols of freedom in art, roam as tokens of reality in a heavenly abstract world.
In Piero Manrique’s Wild Cat, color is the jungle. The bright colors that circulate along the undercurrent of dark linework, giving the painting a powerful energy. The jungle cat’s strong profile, which includes the sharp, blue glimpse at its fangs, exudes a sense of pride and prowess. This cat is a source of fierce energy as if is a visual mantra for self-empowerment.
Through A Boy and His Critters, Shawna Gilmore provides vignette into a world of magic, wonder, and innocence. The oval frame, set on a robin’s egg blue field, gives a glimpse into an alternate reality where an imaginative coterie comprised of a boy, an owl, a rabbit, and a raccoon, sit for a portrait. Gilmore’s depiction of the raccoon, with such sweetly widened-eyes and lovingly draped paw are sure to elicit wishes from the viewers that they, too, could befriend such a charming critter.
Micheal Wedge takes a different (and bitingly poignant) approach to depicting animals. His oil painting strikes a jarring note in picturing the livestock industry. Businessman and businesswomen walk across a field as casually and unconcernedly as if it was a city street. The surrealism of the image comes from this striking juxtaposition. The title, Six Figures, is a clever pun that gently satirizes the business world.
The cat (Krusty, we presume) is not pleased. This sculpture by Mary McGill stands upright with a dignified crankiness with which any viewer, who has felt the pangs of hunger or a nagging pet peeve, can identify. The cat’s crusty coat – a getup made of clay, oxides, underglazes and crawl glazes – exemplifies the textured resilience of a bad mood, human or feline.
Animals in art show a remarkable capacity for human emotion. Each animal depiction, in its own way, suggests that in order to fully capture human emotion sometimes we must take a detour into the animal kingdom.