Born in Kent, England, in 1934 / Lives and works in Kent, England
Rose Wylie responds to Andy Warhol’s 1983 Endangered Species
portfolio thirty years on with a delightful, yet nevertheless sobering work that spotlights some of the species that man now pro - tects or endangers. The artist combines text with imagery reminiscent of children’s book illustrations to de scribe animals engaged in anthropomorphic activities (‘Venezuelan bird looking at the moon’), or to declare an animal’s ecological status (‘Red cardinals are protected’), thereby underscoring their relationship with humans, and their need for us to ensure their survival. As her title and text announce, the vibrant red bird that dwarfs the lake beside it is a protected species in Canada, and a beloved mascot in many parts of the United States. But Wylie’s life-size canvas also features a lion, which by 2050 may become extinct, and a crocodile, a threatened species in nearly half the world. Like Warhol’s ‘animals with make-up’, the artist’s playful delineations and Crayola-hued palette call attention to both our successes and failures in ensuring a future for these animals.
Portrait by Joe McGorty