Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Joseph Grazi- Cecil: A Love Story

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Tonight, my dear friend Joseph Wolf Grazi opens his latest solo exhibition at Joseph Gross Gallery (548 West 28th Street, from 6-9pm).  Grazi’s body of work spans taxidermy to pencil drawing, but tonight’s show is especially interesting as it focuses around a somber and controversial topic- the killing of Cecil the Lion by American dentist Walter Palmer. Cecil was drawn out of the protective borders of the Hwange National Park, wounded with an arrow, tracked and then killed and skinned, drawing media attention about the morals and logistics of trophy killing.

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In Cecil: A Love Letter, Grazi explores various perceptions, misconceptions and hypocrisies that surround the media and the general population’s reactions to atrocities – particularly involving humans versus animals. With sculpture, drawing, taxidermy and mixed media, Grazi addresses our longtime fascination with lions, which have appeared in art and ornamentalism for centuries. But pushing further, Cecil is meant to address the media backlash against the killing of the innocent animal, which received more attention than terroristic attacks on humans, such as the kidnapping of 200 Nigerian girls by Boko Haram which happened the same year.

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The weighty emotion of his subject is carried out with a nod toward art and design history, with the lion being aesthetically treated with the same majesty of historical art. Cecil: A Love Letter opens tonight and runs through October 29.

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