This is part two of my re-imagining of a tiger in art. Here is my original:
I started to think about the negative aspects of a tiger's beauty and how it's beautiful skin became a curse as well as a blessing, because it has been hunted to the edge of extinction. But how could I explore the controversial subject of fur/animal trading in an artistic way?
My journey started with exploring two artists who are no strangers to controversy - the English/Italian duo of Gilbert and George:
When I lived in London I got to see a huge retrospective of their work at the Tate Modern:
I have never heard so many people with differing opinions on one exhibition, so I knew it was going to be controversial!
I broke down the main tenets in their work - a grid structure, bright colours, mixture of text and images - repetition of images, metal grates as a way of alienating the viewer, images reproduced with varying tones to make other larger images, cross iconography. The duplication of images was no doubt assimilated through the work of Andy Warhol.
I gave this a try in my own work, which I called "Skin Trade". The digital painting shows the way a tiger is literally split apart when its skin is sold. I based the design on a pattern for a tiger rug. I made the central image into a shape of a larger creature which is a symbol of rebirth which represents hope in the form of conservation.
I added in the barbed wire to represent the duality of forced breeding programs of tigers in captivity - which can be seen as both cruel and necessary if the species is to survive.
I kept the colour palette within the orange and red range so as not to distract from the original subject matter.