White Rhino. I painted this as a tribute to the last white rhinos on the planet, and also to bring awareness to human destruction, particularly the obliteration of large mammals on Earth. I painted the rhino in rainbow because all colors of the rainbow make white. It's as if he were fading into the ether and merging back into Cosmic Consciousness.
When I started this painting, it was after learning that there were 3 white rhinos left in the wild. Shortly after, the last male of the species died. Around the same time I also read Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, which was incredibly insightful and what I think should be mandatory reading for high school. We might be better off with more awareness earlier on. He goes through the history and prehistory of humanity, where large mammals dominated, and there was a huge diversity. We’ve pretty much killed the majority of them off. Now, the majority of mammals on the planet, I forgot the statistic he gave, but well over 90% are farm animals. Cows, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, and chickens are pretty much what we have left, with almost no significant diversity of large mammals. I just read, “As of March 2018, there are only two rhinos of the northern white rhino left, both of which are female. They live in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya and are protected round-the-clock by armed guards. They're near extinction is due to decades of rampant poaching for rhino horn.” Now, after extreme conservatory efforts there are about 18000, which is a success, but we have a long way to go if we want to continue sharing the planet with other large mammals other than cows….
Someone asked me when I started this painting why I’m painting a rhino vs. a wolf or a lion or a more “conscious” animal.. So that's why. And also because EVERYTHING is consciousness. All beings on the planet. We talk about discrimination and we’ve done it through and through as a humanity, with each other, and with animals, with pretty much everything, and it’s about time it stops. Times they are a changing..
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