“Africa’s Big Five – Skin of the Game” by Bernhard Cociancig
Bernhard Cociancig on his series “Africa’s Big Five”: “In the execution of the paintings I tried to emulate a cognizable texture of the skins. I did not intend for the works to become overly realistic. Hence, I did not paint hair for hair, or crease by crease. For a close authentical representation of the dry and dusty African soils, I used dry earth pigments. The footprints of the “Big Five” I executed as Mokulito prints and are of near-actual size.”
The expression of “Africa’s Big Five“ relates to big game hunting; encompassing the elephant, rhino, cape buffalo, lion, and leopard. “Poaching, anthropogenic changes, and sustained climate change have massively interfered with the population of the “Big Five” and other species on this continent.”
“Having skin in the game”
The title of Cociancig’s work “Africa’s Big Five – Skin of the Game” also portrays a play of words; equally applicable in German (Die Haut zu Markte tragen = to carry the skin to the market) and tweaking the English proverb “having skin in the game”. Trying to draw the bow across an art history period of some 10 000 years, it is intending to present the effects poaching and changes in habitats have towards the population of the fauna. As the allegory for the expression “Skin of the Game”, Bernhard chose to create an artistic representation of the skin textures of the “Big Five”. Represented in the footprints of the animals, is the transience of all creatures. Some of them which may already be extinct, but have left their fossilized tracks. Much like the long perished dinosaurs.
For the narrative brochure, Bernhard Cociancig has produced mechanically engraved aluminum intaglio chine cole prints (edition of 5, each 20 x 30 cm). These prints are also available in his collection at Try it ART.
This brochure is addressing more individual details on the “Big Five”, the art history of rock art in North Africa, along with the issue when and where animal topics appeared in art. In case you are interested, a digital version is available on “issuu”.
Africa’s Big Five series have been on display between 12/2018 and 04/2019 at the Dvůr Králové Zoo, located in Dvůr Králové nad Labem, Czech Republic. It is the second largest Zoo in the country, showcasing a large open “safari” section. One of its most significant missions is to protect endangered and threatened wildlife species.
Please contact us in case you have an interest in these series. Whether it is to purchase or discussing an opportunity for a dedicated display, like the one mentioned above. Supporting the cause of this artwork.