Look What You Missed!
ArtistBenjamin Joel Wilkinson
DescriptionCollage on cardboard.
After spending a fair amount of time in preserved areas, I've noticed that visitors often have unrealistic expectations regarding wildlife. People not-infrequently visit a park thinking that wild animals are obligated to display themselves for their cameras, that they'll see animals that have migrated elsewhere for the season, that they'll see animals that ceased to live in the area centuries ago or indeed never lived there at all, etc. This piece is my personal comment on that phenomenon.
The background consists of 8 posters for American national parks, created in the 1930s by artists working for the Federal Art Project. Upon these evocative and scenic landscapes are pasted photos of animals that have no business being there; hence you can see a condor soaring through a cavern, a boa constrictor slithering through sequoias, penguins wandering through a cactus-studded desert, and a seal lounging next to Old Faithful (among others).