Specimen

Watercolor and Ink
8.5″x11″, 2013

My submission for the collaborative art book, Losing Altitude, with the theme of endangered birds.The Kinglet Calyptura, a critically endangered bird from Brazil. The concept of this painting is to represent its unknown status. The only photo we have of the bird is of a study skin made in the 1800s. The last verified sighting of the species was in 1996, after nearly a hundred years since the previous sighting. Whether the bird is alive or extinct is unknown, due to a variety of reasons. I attempted to show that by having a clearly live bird picking at the specimen tags tied to its leg. The tags, the perch, and the plant specimens (fruiting Acnistus aborescens and a snippet of a Tillandsia) at the base represent the scientific study and the bird as a specimen or a museum piece.


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