Animal Existence (2017 - present)
For this body of work, I reprint old photographs I find of extinct and endangered animals. The paper is presprayed with clear acrylic to prevent the ink from setting, causing it to stay liquid on the printed image. I then manipulate the wet ink in various ways.
I started making these to acknowledge the melancholy behind photographs of creatures that no longer exist. While accepting that no one will ever experience certain species again, it is also a warning about future losses as well. I am interested in the mixture of photographic representation of an animal with a painterly depiction that works to express its essence. I mourn our loss of these animals, but I also mourn the loss of our perceptions of animals when cultures saw them in a way more profoundly and meaningfully than the way our current culture views them. We have lost a significant experience by losing those relationships with wild animals, a further distancing of our union with the natural world. From the early cave drawings, animals inspired humans to use visual language as a form of communicating the spiritual - what goes beyond words, and it's that deep understanding that these images are meant to recall.