Evan Lovejoy

Study of a Musk Ox

Jackson’s Painting Prize 2020
100 x 75 cm

“I have an intense fascination with the way in which human beings perceive animals. Their forms are hijacked, and they become surrogates for our ideas, stories, and symbols, despite their inherent isolation from the human thought process. The true animal becomes more and more separated from our consciousness and is replaced by something artificial: a chimera of images and ideas created through a maelstrom of cartoons, fables, wildlife documentaries, museum dioramas, conservationist policies, and zoos. The animals I paint are not representations of their real life counterparts, but instead display a form that is entirely an artifice.

Painting with acrid colour and grounding the animal body in pockmarked, desolate landscapes, I hope to encapsulate my own dichotomous relationship with animals — a mixture of wonder for the natural world and disgust with my own complicity in anthropogenic environmental destruction.”