Shotgun Shells

As a genre, wildlife art holds a unique position. It gets little credit from the critical art community; yet it might be the favorite of the general public. I'm uncomfortable with both realities. I do not think the beasts of the world are any less legitimate subject matter than anything else that an artist feels is worth portraying. Yet popular wildlife art is not, to my way of thinking, representational. First of all, wildlife art has reduced the natural kingdom to a few select species that are, often times, rarely seen. They must be out there, but I'm not sure I have ever seen a painting about a skunk, or any reptile for that matter; whereas images of cougars and wolves are almost inevitable. Secondly, there is a distinct lack of violence in any of them. Most wildlife art owes more to the zoo than it does to the wild.

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