I loved painting this piece and the result it achieved. It won the New York Society of Animal Artists Presidential Award.
It is part of a body of work entitled “The Captive Series” – animals that are enclosed in sanctuaries, zoos and artificial enclosures. Obviously, there’s a sadness about this, but at the same time a positive role is being played out here. These animals have been rescued. They would possibly have suffered a worse fate had that not been the case. However, they still find themselves in an artificial environment – reliant and restricted. This fact changes our emotional view point.
“Patas Perspective” was named because of the obvious similarities between what we do as humans, as we contemplate our surroundings and fate, perhaps adopting similar postures at times.
The human involvement in the piece is represented by the obvious and deliberate elements of construction, wire mesh and wood. It poses the question and emotional response – are we proud and grateful that somebody rescued these animals or are we upset that somebody has caged them? What is our perspective, what is our view of these animals and what is their view of us? It can be negative and positive simultaneously.
It is also relevant that one might have an emotional reaction to this and react instantly – how terrible or how wonderful. We tend to react to images on websites and social media instantly in regard to these issues – hunting or conservation – often with one dimensional perspectives – without necessarily understanding the greater message or story.
This piece encourages a play of emotion, allowing the onlooker to get some perspective on these issues.
Description: Patas Monkey.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Dimensions: 115cm x 54cm