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Animals in Art: Why the Pervasive Subject Matter?

Aug 2, 2022

In New York City last year, communities erupted at the idea that their beloved animal sculptureswould be taken from their parks and playgrounds.

So much so, that the city of New York created an animal haven for discarded park animals. They will now go to the very first “NYC Parks Home for Retired Playground Animals” in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. Proof that a few angry citizens can make surprising things happen.

It should come as no surprise that urban dwellers have a fixation with animal-based art. In fact, animal art has a long and diverse history that includes classical representations, as well as architectural and fashion adornment. Artists have even used live animals in their work.

Starting as early as 45,000 BCE and continuing to the present day, figurative animal depictions, realistic animal depictions, and anthropomorphic animals pop up in every culture and period of history.

But, like all art, animal-based art has fallen in and out of fashion.

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