Apr 25 2012

#361 “Predator”

From Pierre Nabokov,

Given the traditional yet mysterious association of wolves with sexual predation, it is not entirely surprising that this particular wolf is inquiring about little girls. After taking just a quick glance at the demented look in this creature’s eyes and examining his gaping, fang-filled maw, any individual in his right mind would surely take it upon himself to hide the members of his family that are closest to him in order to protect them from harm… especially his children. Interestingly enough, the human animal, much like the wolf, is a creature that can easily share the same aggression that we witness in this particular illustration. It’s somewhat fitting then that this picture achieves common ground with a recent viral video that touches on this subject. Take a look back at the famous interview with Antoine Dodson, and you’ll see what I mean.


Jan 26 2012

#271 Less is More (26)

From Lauren in Pickens, South Carolina

FACT: Wolves were once the most widely distributed land predator the world has ever seen. The only places they didn’t thrive were in the true desert and rainforests.

fda

 


Sep 12 2011

#135 “Waspwolf”

From a stranger in Ann Arbor, Michigan

The human imagination is very powerful. In fact, Albert Einstein himself is often credited with saying that imagination is more important than knowledge. To be honest, I’m not sure if I totally agree with this statement, but I do believe that imagination often gives knowledge a run for its money; and generally speaking, the two seem to go hand in hand. Based upon these ideas, I can only assume that the imaginative stranger in Ann Arbor, Michigan who submitted this illustration is clever as well as creative.

While it may seem that the wolf and the wasp are two creatures that have very little in common, a deeper examination of the qualities of each reveal that both are accomplished predators. In many ways, the wasp is the wolf of the insect world, often preying upon other pest insects. But it is not simply the predatory nature of these animals that make them suitable for such an astounding combination. This unifying of insect and lobo serves to make this resulting creature one that is equally deadly at both ends. The wolf has long been feared because of its deadly jaws lined with razor sharp teeth, but now the back end of this crazy creature is just as dangerous. So watch out, there’s no sneaking up on this treacherous bastard of evolution.

Ultimately, when I look at this illustration, I can’t help but be reminded of a book that I once saw as a child. The title of the book was “Man After Man: An Anthropology of the Future,” and it really caused my adolescent mind to reel with wonder, horror, and the insane possibilities of the future. The book speculated (largely through illustrations) about a number of strange ways that man might evolve in the coming eons. And although “Man after Man” largely focused on humanoid evolution, I can’t help but to gaze upon the beautiful horror of the waspwolf and wonder, “Will you ever truly exist? Are you the next level of adaptation?” It’s sad but true, but I don’t think that anyone alive today will ever know…

 


May 24 2011

#24 “The Unseen”

From Heather

I would first like to commend the artist for her commitment to utilizing nearly the entire canvas for this illustration. The natural elements (trees, rocks, etc.) help to secure this wolf in a place that is real and tangible for the viewer, and I feel like the drawing is stronger because of this. The full usage of the canvas allows us to truly examine this wolf in his element, his native environment.  Please understand that I am not downplaying the importance of imagination in the mind of the viewer; I am simply drawing attention to the illustrator’s artistic dedication.

What really strikes me about this picture, though, is the violently expressive body language of the wolf. You’ll notice that the wolf seems to feel threatened or appears to possibly be in some sort of danger. This is made evident by the slicked back ears, the ferocious disposition and facial features, and the way the animal is reared back on its haunches, striking a somewhat defensive pose. As a result, the work is positively dripping with anxiety and drama.

But all of these details still beg the question: What has this wolf in such dire straits? Has it encountered a lupine nemesis vying for dominance in the pack? Some evil archenemy? Is he face to face with the wolf’s greatest foe: man? Could it be something less spectacular (perhaps the wolf is merely feigning anger in some sort of primitive lupine game), or totally outrageous (maybe this wolf has encountered beings from another planet)? Ultimately, as is often the case, the answer is left up the viewer and in the end, you must decide: What lies just beyond the reaches of the page?


May 19 2011

#19 “Ragin’”

From a stranger in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Rage \rāj\ n: 1a: violent and uncontrolled anger 1b: a fit of violent wrath

Rage \rāj\ v: 1a: to move, rush, dash or surge furiously 1b: to proceed, continue or prevail with great violence

Rage. It’s the one word that comes to mind when I examine at this illustration. Pure, unadulterated rage. It is certainly true that wolves are violent and savage. It is well known that they are wild and ferocious, but when people think about these characteristics of the wolf, they most likely pair them with the notion that the wolf is also a calculating and shrewd predator. The wolf is smart; he is composed. For it is often through his great cunning that a wolf is able to attain his prey.

But what may be even more terrifying than the actions of a sly and crafty predator is the idea of a wolf gone out of his mind with fury. What could drive a wolf over the edge? What could cause this typically poised and self-possessed creature to erupt into a volcanic explosion of fury? I’m not sure, but when you consider that it is legal in some areas to hunt wolves from helicopters and that nearly 8,000 wolves have been killed by humans since 2006, is it surprising that the wolf is seething with rage? When you understand that certain wolf populations have been infected with parasitic skin diseases in order to control their numbers and that generally the wolf has been one the most abused animals in history, is it any wonder that a wolf would lash out in anger? I think not, my friends.

I’m not an encourager of violence on the part of man or wolf, but I do believe the wolf is a noble savage, and if the facts that I have listed above are indeed the impetus for this wolf’s frenzied wrath, then I say rage on wolf, rage on. And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I will leave you with the words of the esteemed poet, Dylan Thomas.

Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.