Bronx Zoo, Alexis Rockman, 2013

Alexis Rockman travelled to Tasmania in search of the thylacine in 2004. His paintings made using soil from thylacine habitat are featured elsewhere on the Lost Species Day blog. Alexis is a prolific and ferocious painter who has kindly given RDLS permission  to share his extraordinary epic oil painting Bronx Zoo here. You can read a conversation about art in the ‘age of pessimism’ between Alexis and his colleague Mark Dion here.

Wired review of Bronx Zoo:

“The monumental painting Bronx Zoo, 2012-2013, measuring 7 x 14 feet, depicts with virtuosity and wit an anarchistic scene amid the ruins of New York’s most legendary zoo, founded in 1899. The zoo’s neoclassic buildings and court have been overtaken by animals that inhabit it. Although human figures are absent in Rockman’s painting, their existence is implied by the decay of their buildings and the debris of their society. Bronx Zoo suggests the savage moment that occurs at the intersection of human culture and the natural world. To the artist, the zoo is “the last bastion for biodiversity,” a place for protecting and conserving those animals whose natural habitat has been destroyed. This dystopian narrative expands the visual language and scope of traditional natural history painting into themes of contemporary relevance, most prominently the environment.”

See the full article in Wired. 


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