Artwork – Post-WWII to the present
In the post WWII period, building upon the experimental forms seen in the early 1900s, and with the rise of mass consumption and commercial art, the graphic novel, and the embrace of abstractionism and the avant-garde, we see more eclectic, sometimes whimsical, musings on themes of animals, death, grief, nature, and life.
Erika Carter, Untitled, 2008.
Matthew Inman, I have Firsthand Experience with an Undead Parrot, 2014.
From the graphic series published in The Oatmeal. See part two, focusing on Grump’s burial, here.
Get to know more about parrots from the beautiful and moving documentary, Parrots Confidential, part of PBS’ Nature series. For a story on the life, trauma and death of Malachi, a captured coral pink Moluccan Cockatoo, read Gay Bradshaw’s memorial here.
Lisa Luree, Eternal Bliss. 2015.
Artist Statement: “This piece was commissioned by a beautiful family with a kindred love of dogs! I so enjoy painting meaningful memorial pieces that remind us of those special beings that live on in our hearts. I hope to see all my beloved pets at the Rainbow Bridge”.
Andrea Bowers. Eco Grief Extinction Series. 2022.
Each of these three large-sized pictorial elegies on collaged cardboard bases depicts a bird species that has vanished – Bachman Warbler, Molokai Creeper, Ivory-billed Woodpecker; they are among the 23 bird species that the U.S. government declared extinct in 2021. The birds are depicted in states of suspension and remembrance with women who empathize with and grieve their plight. Such bold juxtapositions are an appeal for the dignity, safety and rights of both. The words in the corners of these paintings are from poet and healer, Deena Metzger: “Can the world mend in this body?” / “How you treat us is how you treat the Earth” / “what must be undone in order to heal”. Read more here.