Alphabeasts

ABC DEF GHI

JKL MNO PQRSTU VWX YZ

This set of nine oil paintings represents a crash of male Northern white rhinoceroses spelling the alphabet with their golden horns. They are grazing on a landscape of teal blue and ochre evoking the African Bush. I rendered the rhino’s famous armor by using underpainting and glaze.

I am inspired by children’s books  that, in the tradition of the 16th century “hornbook” alphabet primers, educate the alphabetical letters with pictures of animals. Through this concept, my paintings also emphasize Xtinction. The canvases’ sizes are comparable to the sizes of children’s books. Thus this set can be installed in groupings similar to the classroom displays one remembers.

In February 2015, I was commissioned to paint a portrayal of a rhinoceros in three- dimensions using the whimsical style evident in my circus painting and sculpture. Next I sculpted a grouping of three rhinos in which I realized the importance and aesthetic of the crashing of horns. Afterwards, in 2017, I constructed Lord Rhino (135 x 54 x 11 cm) out of various recycled woods which became the mascot for Café Rhino. The idea of using the alphabet came about when creating a store sign for the Café.

In 2018, Sudan, the last male Northern white rhino crashed into Xtinction…

3 rhinos