jueves, 14 de abril de 2016

Ladrón que roba a ladrón..


Esta obra de modesto tamaño es una suerte de guiño a la estética de Odd Nerdrum, cuya estética tuve en el ojo de la mente al idearla. Dicho esto, es un buen ejemplo de cómo diverge a veces la obra acabada de la idea, en mi intención la pintura era mucho más ocre en croma, y de factura más suelta, con las pinceladas más marcadas y constructoras de forma.. pero así es la cosa, la pintura muchas veces depende de lo que el pintor puede de verdad, lo que es, por más influencias o imitaciones que pretenda seguir. El resultado de todos modos me deja contento.
Quise darle un cierto aire aviar, con un recuerdo de aquellos ladrones de huevos que saqueaban los del Gran Alca para venderlos por su rareza, o los mismos pájaros que roban huevos para alimentarse. El aire general debía hacer a la figura habitar ese mundo de arquetipos, claro, con la intención de fijar uno nuevo, y asentar sus acciones como ejemplares.

Un manco habilidoso

Mi nueva pintura, 'Homme sans bras', toma inspiración de un grabado aparecido en el libro de monstruos y prodigios de Ambroise Parè, innovador cirujano francés cuya mente habitó el difuso mundo intermedio entre Medioevo y Renacimiento. La imagen me impactó en todo su potencial de ser reinterpretada en un óleo de gran formato, con esas alusiones a la iconografía del Tarot, (yo lo asocié con el Mago), la presentación de una historia completa que se va deshilvanando a distintos niveles por el fondo. Naturalmente el tema daba para sobrecargarla un poco de detalles.. pero para eso no necesito buscar excusas, usé muchos elementos ya presentes en el pequeño grabado, y jugué con el sentido de varios de ellos. La imagen me apeteció por el atractivo de una figura que, aunque limitada, logra llevar a cabo hazañas gracias a su ingenio, articular sus pocas posibilidades en resultados sorprendentes. Se trata de un caso histórico, referido al médico, que resulta en realidad uno de los menos fantásticos dentro de sus habituales intereses.


 Agrego un pequeño boceto de mi intento de barba medieval, sirvió para entender la geometría de la misma y es una buena justificación para mostrar algo de la pintura abocetada que a veces precede a las obras más trabajadas.


domingo, 24 de enero de 2016

Accésit adquisición para 'El traje de ramas' en el Premio Focus-Abengoa 2015, Sevilla.

'El traje de ramas' gana uno de dos accésit adquisición en el  Premio Internacional de Pintura Focus-Abengoa 2015, en Sevilla.

Gabriel Grün junto a los artistas premiados y miembros del jurado.

La Fundación Focus-Abengoa ha fallado el Premio Internacional de Pintura Focus-Abengoa 2015, un galardón que en esta 32 edición ha merecido la obra 'Las veces difíciles', de Lola Berenguer Suarez (Almería, 1965). Además, el jurado ha distinguido con un accésit la obra de Gabriel Grün Yantorno (Buenos Aires, 1978) 'El traje de ramas', y a Jesús Zurita Ruíz (Granada, 1974) por 'El contenido de los murmullos'.

El Pl Premio Internacional de Pintura Focus-Abengoa, de tema y técnica libre, está dotado con 36.000 euros, repartidos en un primer premio de 24.000 euros, que recibirá Lola Berenguer, y dos accésit de 6.000 euros cada uno, que recogerán Gabriel Grün y Jesús Zurita en una ceremonia que tendrá lugar en la primavera del próximo año. Las obras de los tres galardonados pasarán a formar parte de los fondos de la Colección Focus-Abengoa de pintura, escultura y obra gráfica.
De las 32 obras seleccionadas, el jurado ha decido por unanimidad conceder el primer premio a la obra de Berenguer “por una radiante e impecable estructura que explora y vivifica una tradición moderna que viene del purismo y otros referentes de la abstracción constructiva, logrando una actualización fecunda de sus presupuestos, con una composición rotunda que germina adjetivada por sutiles gestos visuales que basculan entre lo lineal y lo pictórico”.
Gabriel Grün Yantorno. El traje de ramas.
Gabriel Grün Yantorno. El traje de ramas.
Por otro lado, de Grün han destacado que “tomando en sus manos los hilos de una tradición pictórica que se remonta a la maestría de Patinir, Brueghel, Durero, Arcimboldo e incluso el naturalismo del XVII, el artista configura una obra paradójica y sorprendente, en la que presuntos símbolos y flagrantes equívocos ofrecen un espectáculo pictórico inagotable que suscita irónicas referencias”.
Mientras que de Zurita, el jurado ha destacado “su acertada conjunción de volúmenes en una rotunda composición que transluce una gran libertad creativa y teatralidad, que alude tanto a elementos orgánicos naturales, como sexuales y simbólicos. Dentro de una estética de gran cromatismo y contraste de texturas, que participa de lo imaginario”. Por otro lado, el Jurado ha querido hacer una mención especial a las obras de Javier Arbizu Martínez (s/t); Pepe Carretero, El final del almuerzo; Filippo La Vaccara (s/t); y Simón Zabell, Of canyons and Stars.
Todas las obras finalistas y premiadas se expondrán en una muestra que se inaugura el 21 de diciembre en el Hospital de los Venerables en Sevilla, sede de la Fundación, y podrá visitarse hasta el próximo 20 de marzo de 2016.

miércoles, 23 de septiembre de 2015

HEY! modern art & pop culture / Act III Opens!


I `m participating with four works in HEY! modern art & pop culture / Act III a great show in the Museum La Halle Saint Pierre, in Paris, it will last six months and is amazing. Here are the details and some pictures:
 




Halle Saint Pierre
2, rue Ronsard – 75018 Paris
Métro : Anvers/Abbesses
Ouvert tous les jours : en semaine de 11h à 18h
samedi de 11h à 19h / dimanche de 12h à 18hOpen Monday-Friday : 11:00 am/18:00 pm
Saturday 11:00 am/19:00 pm – Sunday 12:00 am/18 pm

MUSÉE D’ART BRUT ET D’ART SINGULIER

Au sein d’une belle architecture de style Baltard, tournée vers les jardins de la Butte Montmartre, la Halle Saint Pierre abrite un musée et une galerie, une librairie, un auditorium, un café. C’est dans ce cadre harmonieux et lumineux que sont présentées les grandes expositions temporaires et les multiples activités artistiques et culturelles dédiées aux formes les plus inattendues de la création.

La Halle Saint Pierre presents
HEY! modern art & pop culture / Act III
18/09/15 — 13/03/16
ABOUT
HEY! modern art & pop culture / ACT III
62 international artists
_________________________________________________________________________
HEY! modern art & pop culture, an art magazine founded in 2010 by Anne & Julien, is back at La Halle Saint Pierre after the resounding success of its two previous editions in 2011 and 2013. This third edition, HEY! modern art & pop culture / Act III, will go further in its exploration and diffusion of various countercultural artistic media: Lowbrow Art, outsider art, comics and more generally any artistic vector of street culture.
Awash with first ever (Gabriel GrunThomas WoodruffEd Hardy) as well as exceptional guests (Marion Peck), the exhibition will also unveil previously unseen works by Joël Negri, Albert Sallé and Alain Bourbonnais from la Fabuloserie, an emblematic, offbeat art venue in France. For the first time in Europe works by Mark Ryden, tutelary figure of Pop Surrealism, will be on show at La Halle Saint Pierre.
This scene that Anne & Julien have been supporting for a number of years is vibrant, diverse and complex : its numerous trends and territories, ranging from its most radical manifestations such as Art Brut to the more sophisticated forms of Pop Surrealism, ensure its incontrovertible place in contemporary art history.
For Anne & Julien all the worth and modernity of this scene stem from these very characteristics. The two art activists are committed to defending it through their review, performances and exhibitions.They have been instrumental in putting a spotlight on idiosyncratic visual worlds whose common denominator is their sheer resistance through imagination: resistance to norms, to categorisations, institutionalization and fashion diktats. They are both the promoters and historians of a marginal, underground, alternative art scene.
For La Halle Saint Pierre, to be involved in such an adventure makes perfect sense : art history has always experienced upheavals and paradigm shifts. Echoing the current geopolitical, cultural watershed the world is facing, the art world is also going through a period of crisis and dramatic change. The HEY! modern art & pop culture trilogy is the perfect illustration of this.

catalogue1
Catalogue
 340 pages.
Format 22 x 28 cm. Livre relié, cousu, couverture toilée, impression sérigraphie, tranche fil.
Editions Ankama /619
Vendu à la librairie de la Halle Saint Pierre
avec le sac en toile Hey! : prix 39,90 €.
The works present in the exhibition:

miércoles, 9 de septiembre de 2015

El Traje de Ramas

~ El Traje de Ramas ~
88 x 170 cm. óleo sobre tela 2015.
Una obra en la que indagué en la situación de una figura inquieta, frágil, pero que elige un camino, cruza un puente y nos mira sobre el hombro, como si estorbáramos un ritual íntimo. A mí estas palabras explicativas en clave poética hasta me disgusta verterlas, casi siempre empobrecen la visión de una obra que nos atrae... pero me parecía algo seco hacer la entrada y no escribir nada.


El Bosco, EL vendedor ambulante, El Peregrino o El Camino de la Vida, hacia 1516. Óleo sobre tabla, 135 x 100 cm, Museo de Prado. Son las dos tablas que cierran El carro del heno, y me abstuve de buscar verlas recientemente para que me sirvieran de inspiración lejana y general del cuadro, como un Norte nebuloso hacia el cual dirigirme, sin contaminarme directamente y haciendo que su recuerdo me guiara.

miércoles, 14 de enero de 2015

Nota y tapa en HEY! modern art & pop culture

El número 20 de la francesa HEY! modern art & pop culture deleitó a los lectores con una bochornosamente larga nota sobre mi trabajo, y para coronar el postre adornó su tapa con un detalle de TACTO, todavía le tengo gran estima a esa pintura.. Ver algunas de mis pinturas en desplegable resultó en un asombroso ego inflamado, la entrevista, en francés e inglés, representó algo más que un desafío. ¡Realmente me la tuve que pensar! Así que desde este blog les envío un sentido agradecimiento a Anne y Julien, responsables de esta maravilla de publicación y recomiendo fervorosamente la revista en sí a todos los que aprecien mi pintura, está llena de increíbles artistas que representan un descubrimiento tras otro. ¡Salud!

Issue #20 of the french HEY! modern art & pop culture delighted its readers with an embarrassingly  long review of my work and, to top it all, embellished its cover with a close up of TOUCH, I still have a soft spot for that painting.. Seeing some of my paintings as a spread resulted in an astounding case of swollen ego, the interview, in french and english, presented a bit of a challenge, I really had to think some of them over! So from here I express my heartfelt gratefulness to Anne and Julien, responsible for this marvel of a mag, which I dearly recommend all readers of my blog, it`s full of incredible artists, one  amazing discovery after another. Cheers!

HEY! modern art & pop culture
www.heyheyhey.fr
www.facebook.fr/hey.la.revue
@twittwithey




GABRIEL GRUN
Quel type d’enfant et d’adolescent étiez-vous ?
« Je me rappelle être très replié sur moi-même, passant le plus clair de mon temps la tête dans mes jouets et ou mes dessins, principalement tout seul. J’étais obsessionnel avec presque tout ce que je faisais, poussant les jeux d’enfants jusqu’à leurs limites, prenant les règles très au sérieux et mécontent si quelque chose restait inachevé. À l’adolescence, je me suis trouvé être un gamin timide, ardent frimeur et incapable de faire l’expérience de la vie pour ce qu’elle était, compliquée avec moi-même, et tout ce qui croisait ma route. J’avais une certitude obstinée de ma propre valeur, ce qui m’a fait remettre à plus tard des situations significatives dans l’attente de leur forme parfaite ou complète. J’avais une forte imagination et une capacité à interpréter et m’approprier chaque récit visuel, perdant tôt mon innocence envers ce qui est montré, fasciné par les coulisses de la représentation. »

Dans quelles circonstances vous êtes-vous intéressé à l’art ?
« J’ai toujours été émerveillé par le réalisme, cela me semblait tout simplement magique, plus signifiant d’une certaine manière qu’une photographie ou un film, de par le fait qu’il s’agissait d’une image née des mains de quelqu’un. Je me rappelle, enfant, me couper un doigt avec le bord d’une page d’un gros livre sur Dali appartenant à ma mère. À la douleur et la surprise d’être coupé par du papier, s’est associée l’idée de la peinture comme détentrice d’un étrange pouvoir, celui de surpasser la réalité, et la menace que je venais de découvrir une sorte de secret dont on ne pouvait pas échapper indemne. Après le surréalisme, j’ai été impressionné par des illustrateurs, mais ce que j’appréciais a toujours été la capacité à refléter le monde naturel et à jouer avec, et l’impression de quelque chose qui y aurait été ajouté. Alors que je découvrais le grand art ancien, j’ai vite évalué le XXe siècle à sa juste valeur, commençant bien sûr par être soufflé par les Italiens, les habituels ; j’ai par la suite admiré des choses chez les Flamands et les Hollandais que l’on ne trouvait nulle part ailleurs. Je m’étais fixé des critères élevés dans ce que je considérais être un artiste, naïf quant à la distance entre le monde dans lequel Dürer s’était engagé et le mien. C’est cette naïveté que j’ai gardée et qui a été cruciale par la suite, me permettant d’être entêté et de ne me laisser juger que par une histoire de l’art enjambant les époques, rendant l’opinion des autres assez insignifiante au regard de ma propre mission picturale. Je mentionnerais pour l’occasion Holbein, Bronzino, Fra Angelico, Ribera, Bouguereau. »

Votre peinture est principalement d’inspiration Renaissance et baroque, notamment à travers la façon dont vous appréhendez le détail, dans les paysages ou bien encore dans le traitement de la musculature humaine… De quelle manière ce « goût » s’est-il formulé chez vous ?
« À cette époque, une certaine syntaxe de la peinture a pris forme, la manière dont les arbres étaient peints ou la peau rendue pouvaient être suivie de ville en ville et de maître à apprenti, obéissant à de réelles généalogies de styles. Mon goût pour ce que les peintres pouvaient faire avec leur alphabet est venu d’une exposition précoce au grand art, principalement, mais cela ne suffirait pas à l’expliquer. Cela semble être un monde contrôlé, vous pouvez apprendre les lettres et ensuite faire de la poésie avec elles, le résultat et les effets apportent principalement de la joie, et quand vous comprenez que vous pouvez produire cela vous-même, cela devient alors nécessaire, même si il y a toujours ce trait de danger – car en peinture, la peinture pour de vrai, il n’y a pas d’espace pour se cacher ou pour dissimuler un aspect de votre personnalité. Je veux aussi créer ce genre d’image, du genre qui colle à votre œil et à votre esprit, quel que soit le contexte ou la raison pour lesquels elle a été créée. Nous ne sommes pas esclaves de cette complexe succession de peintres, il est toujours possible de mettre son modèle en face de soi et faire de son mieux pour transmettre cette impression visuelle sur la toile ou le panneau. Mais en réalité, il y aura toujours un langage et une composition appris, des traces de certaines écoles de peintures ou d’autres. De plus, la matière impose son temps et ses possibilités, les conditions de la création. »

La figure humaine semble être votre personnage majeur, à l’instar de l’histoire de l’art. Cependant, vous opérez un équilibre en évoquant des visages et postures tout à fait contemporains. Trouver cet équilibre est au cœur de votre démarche artistique ?
« Non. Ceci n’est pas un but louable. Quand vous essayez de mélanger des choses à dessein, vous obtenez rarement de bons résultats. L’anecdote anachronique n’est pas une finalité, cela se produit parfois en corollaire du fait d’être un peintre qui vit dans le présent et qui utilise ce langage, mais le but est de pouvoir être capable de l’utiliser naturellement et d’exprimer un sens pertinent. Au final, c’est cela qui est satisfaisant et qui permettra la transcendance et la possibilité d’émouvoir d’autres personnes. Il serait ridicule d’éviter le contraste de l’époque. Par exemple, un Italien du XVe siècle habillant ses figures bibliques de vêtements de cour était anachronique, et ce détail ne nous gène pas aujourd’hui, cela s’est produit tout simplement sans avoir à être mis en avant. Ma conviction est que l’histoire n’est pas terminée et qu’il est toujours possible de dire quelque chose à sa manière avec ce vieil alphabet, ce ne sera peut-être pas quelque chose qui bouge ou de la 3D, mais ce sera toujours un coup de poing capable de rester plus longtemps à nos côtés. »

Vous embrassez le thème de l’érotisme, explorant le domaine de la sexualité avec beaucoup de fantaisie. Et vos propositions sont toujours extrêmement surprenantes, voire dérangeantes…
« Au sujet d’une grande partie de la sexualité de mes peintures, je suis sur ce point fatigué et préoccupé, et je me pose souvent cette même question. En ce qui concerne la façon dont le spectateur réagit, je ne peux que spéculer, mais peut-être est-ce la peine de noter que j’ai tendance à traiter les corps comme des symboles, associant un modelage naturaliste des personnages qui entraîne une impression contradictoire. Dans la toile, le regard que je pose sur le sexe n’est pas complaisant, j’ai tendance à le déformer un peu, comme si cela attirait l’attention que cela ne doit pas être lu de façon littérale. En y réfléchissant, quand j’aborde l’impulsion sexuelle dans la peinture, c’est pour dévoiler quelque chose de l’esprit qui se trouve derrière. Peut-être que je souhaite atteindre, et rester, dans un territoire où la sexualité semble être sans limite et pleine de possibilités créatives, et prolonger cela dans le temps immobile de la peinture. »

Encore une fois, vous vous attardez vraiment sur le corps humain, mais choisissez de le représenter en couvrant un homme d’yeux, une femme de papilles mammaires, une autre de taches blanches tandis que sa peau est noire. Pour rejoindre votre vision de la beauté dans votre peinture, y-a-t-il combat ?
« La beauté est paradoxale. Nous pourrions penser que c’est complexe mais c’est en réalité incroyablement simple quand on y est. La beauté non conventionnelle me permet d’explorer les chemins de l’esprit touché par celle-ci, en forçant la beauté à être perçue en des endroits et des configurations que nous n’attendions pas. Mon modèle pour le corps féminin est, de façon exclusive, la sculpteur Lorena Guzmán, donc il y a certainement une partie de la réponse dans cela. Je joue librement avec les variations de la beauté qui se présentent à chaque fois que de la tension naît une figure unique, avec son style propre de perfection. La beauté vous fait frissonner, elle est incontestable et grandit à mesure que les stéréotypes disparaissent. Cela demande quelque chose de vous, y être vulnérable signifie que vous êtes vivant et que vous avez la capacité de transcender l’ordinaire. Il n’y a pour cela pas de type physique ou de marque, c’est un mélange, cela a aussi à voir avec ce que vous y amenez, c’est une rencontre, c’est pourquoi vous en ressortez rarement à l’identique et sain et sauf. Le prétexte de capturer cela en peinture est la raison pour laquelle il s’agit d’un exercice risqué, vous dévoilez beaucoup de vous-même en interprétant, et risquez, pour cette présentation, la colère de la beauté… Les êtres humains de mes peintures ne sont pas censés être pris de façon littérale, ils portent juste des messages qui, j’espère, perturbent assez l’esprit de certains spectateurs. L’originalité n’est pas une fin en soi, un simple regard sur l’histoire de l’art révèlera un énorme étalage d’hybrides et de monstres, certains incroyablement beaux. J’essaie en effet d’éviter les lieux communs autant que possible, mais ceci n’est pas un critère final, une sirène ordinaire peut faire l’affaire sur la toile. La déformation saisit votre attention et, si vous la présentez avec assez de puissance, l’impression est que cette attention est méritée, et que les êtres étranges méritent d’être tirés des marges pour être mis au centre de la scène. Concernant une distorsion physique particulière, je choisis de me fier à l’intuition plutôt qu’à la théorie, elle doit valoir la peine d’y passer un mois ou plus, le temps habituel que me prend une peinture. J’ai tendance à pointer le corps seul, à habiller les personnages de leurs seuls poils ou de multiplier et échanger leurs membres, j’essaie de créer des merveilles uniques, capables de taper dans l’œil du regardeur par elles-mêmes. J’essaie aussi d’éviter l’ennui en jouant ainsi avec les corps que je représente, et de rappeler ainsi un riche réseau, dans l’histoire visuelle, de bêtes et d’hybrides similaires encore tapis quelque part dans l’inconscient social. »

Existe-t-il d’autres thèmes forts abordés dans votre œuvre ? Ou d’autres problématiques récurrentes malgré vous ?

« Je privilégie les personnages isolés d’une manière iconique, quel que soit ce que je fais avec l’arrière-plan. Je ne suis pas très doué avec les narrations longues, je préfère certains détails permettant d’indiquer un possible contexte. Mes personnages se tiennent seuls, à la rencontre du regard du spectateur, comme dans les peintures allégoriques ou les cartes de tarot ; la silhouette n’est pas coupée et la composition en général assez statique. Tout est assez frontal, avec peu d’espace laissé aux ambiguïtés. J’ai un véritable intérêt pour la religion de la Grèce antique, mais cela apparaît rarement dans mes peintures, j’utilise la mythologie de façon conventionnelle, la plupart du temps inspiré par son rôle et son emploi dans l’histoire de l’art elle-même, pas à la manière de la reproduction d’un Alma-Tadema (Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1836-1912, peintre académique britannique célèbre pour son habileté à reproduire l’architecture et les scènes antiques, N.D.L.R.). Les paysages sont génériques, ce sont des accessoires pareils aux rivières et aux collines tortueuses des Flamands, que Michel-Ange refusait mais, même là, je recherche la beauté dans le conventionnel. Le portrait réel apparaît comme prétexte à l’autoportrait, que j’utilise encore et encore, sans jamais me lasser. Ce qui est vraiment important dans la peinture est la façon dont vous la réalisez, ce ne sont pas les idées, mais la manière. Ce qui fait qu’une Madone apparaîtra unique au milieu de dix mille autres, c’est là qu’est le mystère, la façon dont une image vous restera en tête et n’en partira pas. Les thèmes que vous adorez peuvent s’avérer ennuyeux, et vous pouvez être transporté par un exemple tiré d’un genre qui ne vous intéresse que peu. Comme peintre, il n’y a qu’une quantité limitée de travail qui vous revient, le sentiment d’urgence est donc toujours présent, tout comme le sens du doute que vous avez quand vous percevez la pratique artistique comme quelque chose de personnel et riche de sens. En faisant semblant d’utiliser ce vieux langage, j’ai dû en apprendre les techniques, quels étaient les pigments utilisés et pour quelle utilisation, le broyage, la superposition, le vernis… l’ordre et les matériaux installent des limites qui sont le seul véritable endroit où vous pouvez aspirer à maîtriser un art – exprimer quelque chose est une question qui vient plus tard… L’idée derrière mon travail est de tirer le long fil d’un récit visuel que j’adore et que je chéris, et de donner du corps à certaines peintures qui, d’une certaine manière, semblent en manquer ; formuler des intervalles qui doivent être remplis, que Raphaël ou Van der Weyden n’ont simplement pas eu le temps de faire. »
Propos recueillis par Anne & Julien
http://gabrielgrun.blogspot.fr

INTERVIEW
> 1. I remember being introspective and spending lots of time bent over toys or drawings, being mostly by myself. I was obsessive about almost everything I did, pushing child games to their limit, taking their rules seriously and being unsatisfied if something was left uncompleted. Adolescence found me a shy lad, eager to show off and unable to experience life for what it was, complicating myself and everything that crossed my path. I had a stubborn certainty of my own worth that had me postponing meaningful situations in wait for their mast perfect or complete form. I had a strong imagination and capacity to interpret and appropriate every visual narrative, loosing early innocence to what is shown, being fascinated with the backstage of the performance.
>
> 2. I was always awed by realism, it just seemed magical to me, more meaningful somehow than photo or film, the fact that those images could come from someone's hands. I remember, as a child, cutting my finger with the edge of a page from a big book my mother had of Dalí, and with the pain and surprise of being cut by paper came an association of painting as holding a dangerous power, that of surpassing reality, and the threat that I was disclosing some sort of secret you couldn't get away from unharmed. After surrealism I was impressed by some illustrators, but what I appreciated was always the capacity to mirror the natural world and play with it, and the impression of something added to it. As I was exposed to great art of the past I soon assessed the XX century for its true value, beginning of course to be blowed away by the italians, all the regular ones, and later came to admire things in the dutch and flemish that were not to be found elsewhere. I set for myself high standards for what I meant to be as an artist, ingenuous to the distance between the world Dürer moved in and my own, which ingenuity I kept and was crucial later in allowing me to be stubborn and only feel judged by an over-arching Art History that made any other opinion quite meaningless, in regard to my own pictorial mission. I will for the record mention Holbein, Bronzino, Fra Angelico, Ribera, Bougereau
>
> 3. The idea behind my work is to pick the thread of the long line of visual narrative I love and cherish and give body to certain paintings I perceive somehow to be missing, to constitute gaps that are to be filled, that Rafael or Van der Weyden just didn't have time to do.
>
> 4. In that time a certain syntax of painting took form, the way trees were painted or skin rendered could be followed from town to town and master to apprentice conforming true genealogies of styles. My taste for what painters could do with this alphabet came from an early exposure to high art, mainly, but that wouldn't explain it, it seems like a world controlled, you can learn the letters and then make poetry with them, the effects and achievements principally bring joy, and when you understand you can produce this yourself, it becomes unavoidable, even if it doesn't loose that trait of danger, as in painting, painting for real, there's no space to hide or dissimulate any aspect of your character. I want to create that kind of images too, the kind that sticks to your eye and mind, no matter the context or purpose to which it was created. You are not a slave to this complex succession of painters, you can still put your model in front of you and just do your best to pass along that visual impression to the canvas or panel... But in truth there will always be a learned language, composition, shreds of some school of painting or other, besides, the material imposes its times and possibilities, the conditions for creation.
>
> 5. No. It's not a worthy goal, when you try to mix things up on purpose you seldom get good results. The anachronistic anecdote is not a finality, it sometimes happens as a by-product of being a painter living in the present and using this language, but to be able to use it naturally and express pertinent meaning is the goal, that which is finally satisfying and will give some transcendence and potential to affect other people to the work. It's ridiculous to avoid the time contrast, too, an italian of the XV dressing biblical figures in court clothes was anachronistic and the detail does not bother us today, it just has to happen without pushing it to the forefront. My conviction is that the story is not done and that you can still say something in your own way with this old alphabet, it may not be moving or in 3D but it still packs a punch and may remain with us longer.
>
> 6. I am at this point tired and troubled about much of the sexuality of my paintings, I pose this same question to myself often. As to how the spectator reacts I can only speculate, but maybe it's worth noting I tend to treat bodies as symbols, crossing this with a naturalistic modeling of the figures that creates a conflicting impression. My view of sex in the canvas is not complacent, I tend to twist it a bit, as though calling attention to the fact it is not to be read literally. On reflection when I approach the sexual impulse in painting it's to disclose something about the mind behind it. Maybe I want to move and remain in the territory where sexuality seems boundless and full of creative possibilities, and prolong it in the still time of painting.
>
> 7. Beauty is paradoxical. You might think it complex but it's actually staggeringly simple when exposed to it. Unconventional beauty allows me to explore the paths of the mind affected by it, by forcing beauty to be perceived in places and configurations you wouldn't expect. My model for the female body has been exclusively the sculptor Lorena Guzmán, so there should be some kind of answer in that. I play freely with the variations of beauty that arise anew each time the tension builds towards an unique figure, with its unique kind of perfection. Beauty makes you shiver, it is unquestionable and grows as stereotypes vanish. It asks something of you, being vulnerable to it means you are alive and have the capacity to trascend the ordinary. There's not a physical type or mark for it, it is a mixture, has to do with what you bring to it too, it is an encounter, that's why you seldom come out of it the same and unharmed. The pretense to capture it in painting explains why it constitutes a risky exercise, you disclose a lot of yourself in interpreting, and chance Beauty's anger for the exposure.
>
> 8. These beings are not meant to be taken literally, they just carry messages I hope disturb enough some spectator's minds. Originality is not an end in itself, a casual look at Art History will yield an enormous array of hybrids and monsters, some astonishingly beautiful. I do tend to avoid commonplaces as much as possible, but that's not a final criteria, a common mermaid may make it to the canvas. The distortion catches your attention, and if you present it forcefully enough the impression is the attention is merited, and the strange being deserves to be drawn from the marginalia to center-stage. I choose to trust intuition rather than theory for the interest a particular bodily distortion will have, it has to be worth spending the month or so a normal painting takes me to do. I tend to speck with the body alone, dressing the figures in their own hairs or multiplying and interchanging limbs, I intend to create unique marvels with the capacity to stamp themselves in the viewer's eyes. I also avoid boredom by playing like this with the bodies I depict, and call back to a rich web of visual history of similar beasts and hybrids still lurk there in the social unconscious somewhere.
>
> 9. I favor presenting the figure isolated in an iconic manner, regardless of what I do with the background. I don´t do so well with long narratives, preffering some detail to point to a supposed context. My figures stand alone, meeting the viewer´s gaze, as in allegorical paintings or Tarot cards, the siluette is not cut and the composition quite static, usually. It´s all quite frontal, with little place for ambiguities, my interest in ancient greek religion is grnuine, but it seldom shows in my paintings, I use Mythology in a conventional way, mostly being inspired by its role and use in Art History itself, not in the way a recreacionist like Alma-Tadema would have. Landscapes are generical, props in the manner of the flemish twisting rivers and hilltops Michelangelo dismissed, but even so I search for beauty in the formulaic. The actual portrait appears in the guise of the self-portrait, which I use time and again, I never tire. What´s really important in painting is how you do it, not even the ideas, but the manner, that makes a Madonna stand alone between ten thousand, the mystery is there, in the way an image sticks and won´t be taken out of your head. Themes you adore you can find boring, and be transfixed by an example from a genre you had little regard for. As a painter you have a limited anount of work that is yours to do, so the feeling of urgency is ever-present, the sense of debt you have when you perceive art practice as something personal and meaningful. In pretending to use this old language I´ve had to learn its techniques, what pigments were used and for what purpose, the grinding, layering, glazing... the order and materials place limits that are really the only place where you can aspire to master the craft, expressing sonething is an issue for later.

domingo, 28 de septiembre de 2014

Marsupiales de ayer y hoy

`Marsupialia` obra en la que exploro aspectos de la maternidad, y que incluye un retrato, forzosamente póstumo, del tilacino (marsupial carnívoro extinto a principios de siglo) del Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Madrid. Debajo un boceto y una foto de archivo del último tilacino vivo.



-from wikipedia-
Thylacinus cynocephalus
El lobo marsupial o tilacino (nombre científico Thylacinus cynocephalus), también conocido como lobo de Tasmaniatigre de Tasmania y tilacín, fue unmarsupial carnívoro originado en el Holoceno. Era nativo de Australia y Nueva Guinea y se cree que se extinguió en el siglo XX. Se trataba del último miembro viviente de su género (Thylacinus), viviendo los otros miembros en tiempos prehistóricos a partir de principios del Mioceno.
El lobo marsupial se extinguió en el continente australiano miles de años antes de la llegada de los colonos europeos, pero sobrevivió en Tasmania junto con
otrasespecies endémicas, incluyendo el diablo de Tasmania. Generalmente suele culparse de su extinción a la caza intensiva, incentivada por recompensas, pero podrían haber contribuido otros factores, como por ejemplo las enfermedades, la introducción de los perros, o la ocupación de su hábitat por los humanos. Aún cuando se lo considera oficialmente extinto, todavía hay quienes dicen haberlo visto.
Como los tigres y lobos del Hemisferio Norte, de los cuales heredó dos de sus nombres comunes, el lobo marsupial era un depredador alfa. Siendo un marsupial, no tenía relación con estos mamíferos placentarios, pero debido a la evolución convergente, presentaba la misma forma general y las mismas adaptaciones. Su pariente vivo más próximo es el diablo de Tasmania.
Es probable que el lobo marsupial se extinguiera del continente australiano hace aproximadamente dos mil años (quizá en Nueva Guinea). Se culpa de la extinción a la competencia con los humanos y dingos. Aún así, hay dudas sobre el impacto de los dingos, pues las dos especies podrían no haber competido directamente dado que el dingo es principalmente un predador diurno, mientras que se cree que el lobo marsupial cazaba mayoritariamente por la noche, aunque, dado que compartían presas, sí que pudieron competir por el alimento. Ante una hipotética confrontación directa cabe destacar que el lobo marsupial era más robusto, cosa que le habría dado una ventaja en combates entre ejemplares de ambas especies.
Las pinturas rupestres del Parque Nacional Kakadu muestran claramente que los lobos marsupiales eran cazados por los humanos primitivos, y se cree que los dingos y lobos marsupiales podrían haber competido por las mismas presas, pese al distinto carácter cronobiológico de actividad de ambos. Sus hábitats se solapaban claramente: se han encontrado restos subfósiles de lobos marsupiales en proximidad a restos de dingos. La adopción del dingo como compañero de cacería por los aborígenes habría incrementado la presión sobre el lobo marsupial.
Aún cuando ya llevaban mucho tiempo extinguidos en el continente australiano cuando llegaron los colonos europeos, los lobos marsupiales sobrevivieron hasta la década de 1930 en Tasmania. En tiempos de la primera colonia europea, la zona de población más densa de los lobos marsupiales era el norte de la isla. Desde los primeros días de colonización europea, los lobos marsupiales eran poco comunes, pero poco a poco se los empezó a culpar de numerosos ataques a ovejas; esto llevó a ofrecer recompensas en un intento de controlar su número. Una compañía, la Van Diemen's Land Company, ofreció recompensas por matar lobos marsupiales desde 1830, y entre 1888 y 1909 el gobierno de Tasmania pagó 1 libra esterlina (£) por cabeza (10 chelines por los cachorros). En total se pagaron 2.184 recompensas, pero se cree que se mataron muchos más lobos marsupiales de los que se reclamaron. Su extinción suele atribuirse a estos esfuerzos constantes de los granjeros y cazadores de recompensas. Aun así, es probable que múltiples factores contribuyeran a su declive y eventual extinción, incluyendo la competencia con perros salvajes (introducidos por los colonos), la erosión de su hábitat, la extinción de especies que eran sus presas, y una enfermedad parecida al moquillo que afectaba a muchos ejemplares en cautiverio en aquellos tiempos.
En cuanto a la competencia con los zorros como uno de los factores implicados en la extinción, cabe destacar que estos animales fueron introducidos por vez primera en 1864 y de nuevo en 2000; su posible presencia en estado silvestre en Tasmania es muy seriamente tenida en cuenta, aún con los mínimos indicios de la misma. Claro que la Fox Free Tasmanian Taskforce, asociación implicada en la búsqueda de tilacinos y en la erradicación de los zorros, recibe financiación del gobierno y no realiza ya esfuerzos en la búsqueda del lobo marsupial. De este modo, se sugiere que la dificultad de encontrar zorros en las regiones salvajes de Tasmania parece indicar que hay alguna posibilidad de que el lobo marsupial haya sobrevivido lejos del contacto con los humanos.
Fuera por el motivo que fuese, el animal ya era extremamente raro en estado salvaje a finales de los años veinte. Hubo varios intentos de salvar la especie de la extinción. Los registros del comité de gestión de Wilsons Promontory de 1908 recomendaban la reintroducción de lobos marsupiales en diferentes lugares adecuados de Victoria. En 1928, el comité de consejo de la fauna nativa de Tasmania recomendó proteger a todos los lobos marsupiales que quedaban, en zonas como por ejemplo Arthur River y Pieman River, al oeste de Tasmania.
El último lobo marsupial salvaje conocido fue abatido en 1930 por un granjero denominado Wilf Batty a Mawbanna, al nordeste de Tasmania. El animal (supuestamente un macho) había sido visto cerca de los gallineros de Batty desde hacía algunas semanas.

http://www.arkive.org/thylacine/thylacinus-cynocephalus/
Thylacine description
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Dasyuromorphia
Family Thylacinidae
Genus Thylacinus (1)
The thylacine was the largest marsupial carnivore but it is now widely believed to be extinct (1). Despite similarities with canids such as the wolf, the thylacine was extremely distinctive, and the canine appearance was offset by the tapered hindquaters, relatively short legs and broad-based tail (2), which cannot be wagged from side-to-side (3). The short, coarse fur was a dirty yellow-brown with 13 to 19 transverse brown stripes running from the upper back to the base of the tail (4); animals from highland areas had a richer cinnamon-brown coat (3). There were lighter patches of fur (4) surrounding the eyes and near the erect, rounded ears (5). The belly was cream coloured, females carried a backwards-opening pouch (4), and males possessed a pseudo pouch in the form of a fold of skin that protected the testes when moving quickly through low bushland (3). The thylacine was renowned for its ability to open its jaw remarkably wide; whilst it is highly unlikely that this yawn was as wide as is sometimes quoted (180°), the gape was still the widest of any mammal (4), and is surpassed only by that of the snake (3). This species is a classic example of 'convergent evolution'; it is a marsupial mammal that closely resembles the placental canids, especially the wolf from which one of its common names is derived, due to the similarities in their way of life (6).Also known asTasmanian tiger, Tasmanian wolf.FrenchLoup Marsupial.SpanishLobo De Tasamania, Lobo Marsupial.SizeTail length: 50 - 65 cm (2)Head-body length: 1 - 1.3 m (2)Shoulder height: 56 cm (3)Weight25 - 35 kg (3)
Thylacinus cynocephalus — Thylacine
For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.
Legal Status and Documents
EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Extinct
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
Legislative Instruments Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes(Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
Documents and Websites
TAS: Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine (Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, 2014c) [Internet].
TAS: Thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, Thylacinus cynocephalus (Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service (Tas. PWS), 2010) [Internet].
TAS: Thylacinus cynocephalus (Thylacine): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2014uq) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
TAS: Listed as Extinct (Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tasmania): September 2012 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Extinct (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2014.3 list )
NGO: Listed as Extinct (The action plan for Australian mammals 2012)
Naming
Scientific name Thylacinus cynocephalus [342]
Family Thylacinidae:Polyprotodonta:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Harris, 1808)
Infraspecies author
Reference
Distribution Map
Distribution map Species Distribution Map not available for this taxon.
Taxonomy
Scientific name: Thylacinus cynocephalus
Common name: Thylacine
Other names: Tasmanian Tiger
Description
The Thylacine was a marsupial that bore superficial resemblance to a dog. The most distinguishing feature of this animal were the 13–19 dark brown stripes over the back, beginning at the rear of the body and extending onto the tail. The tail was thick at the base and very stiff, giving the impression that it was a continuation of the body. The hair was short and dense, usually fawn to sandy brown, but varying in colour from deep brown to grey. The female had a large pouch. The species had prominent canine teeth as well as shearing molar teeth. There was some degree of sexual dimorphism, with males having a slightly longer body length than females. The average nose-to-tail length for adult males was 162.6 cm, compared to 153.7 cm for females (Guiler 1985; Paddle 2000; Tasmanian DPIW 2007).
The Thylacine was largely silent, its vocalisations being limited to an occasional 'terrier like' bark when hunting and a series of husky barks when excited in captivity. Adults could weigh anything from 15–35 kg (although recorded weights of live animals were few) (Flannery 1990a). The species was shy and secretive and always avoided contact with humans. Despite the common name, 'tiger', it had a quiet, nervous temperament. Captured animals generally gave up without a struggle and many died suddenly, apparently from shock (Guiler 1985; Tasmanian DPIW 2007).
Australian Distribution
Approximately 4000 years ago the Thylacine was widespread throughout New Guinea and most of mainland Australia, as well as Tasmania. Its extinction coincided closely with the arrival of the dingo in Australia and the wild dog in New Guinea. Dingoes never reached Tasmania, and most scientists see this as the main reason for the Thylacine's survival there. The most recent, well-dated occurrence of a Thylacine on the mainland is a carbon-dated fossil from Murray Cave in Western Australia, which is around 3100 years old. Further evidence for the previous presence of Thylacines on the mainland includes Aboriginal rock-paintings of a striped animal (almost certainly a Thylacine) in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and the Northern Territory (Flannery 1990a; Guiler 1985).
The Thylacine was widely distributed in Tasmania before European arrival. The first definite reference was that of Paterson in 1805, near Yorketown, on the Tamar River in northern Tasmania (Flannery 1990a). At the time of the first settlement, the heaviest distributions of this species were in the north-east, north-west and north-midland regions of Tasmania (Australian Museum 1999b).
Surveys Conducted
There have been numerous expeditions and searches for the Thylacine, beginning in 1937 and culminating in 1993. These included searches by leading Australian naturalists such as David Fleay, who searched for months in 1945–46, and notable Thylacine experts such as Eric Guiler (Flannery 1990a; Guiler 1980). None of these expeditions has produced evidence that Thylacines still exist. There have been hundreds of sightings since 1936, many of which may have been clear cases of misidentification. However, in a detailed study of sightings that occurred between 1934 and 1980, Smith (1980) concluded that of a total of 320 sightings, just under half could be considered good sightings. Nonetheless, all sightings have remained inconclusive (Tasmanian DPIW 2007). The results of a few of these searches are given below (Tasmanian DPIW 2007):
1937 - Sergeant Summers leads a search in the north-west of the State, recording many recent sightings by other persons in a large area between the Arthur and Pieman Rivers, although the party itself did not see any Thylacines. He recommends a sanctuary in that area.
1945 - Well-known naturalist David Fleay searches the Jane River to Lake St Clair area, finding possible Thylacine footprints.
1959 - Eric Guiler leads a search in the far north-west, an area which produced many bounties, and finds what appeared to be Thylacine footprints.
1963 - Eric Guiler leads a search in the Sandy Cape area but finds no evidence.
1968 - Jeremy Griffiths, James Malley and Bob Brown embark on a major search. Although they collect reports of sightings, they find no evidence of the Thylacine.
1980 - Parks and Wildlife Officers, Steven Smith and Adrian Pyrke, search a wide area of the State using three automatic cameras. No evidence of Thylacines is found.
1982–83 - Parks and Wildlife Officer, Nick Mooney, undertakes an extensive but unsuccessful search to confirm the 1982 sighting reported by Hans Naarding near the Arthur River in the State's north-west.
1984 - A search in Tasmania's highlands by Tasmanian Wildlife Park owner, Peter Wright, fails to turn up conclusive evidence.
1988–93 - Separate photographic searches by wildlife photographer, Dave Watts and Ned Terry, fail to record a Thylacine.
Population Information
The Thylacine is presumed extinct. It was probably never an abundant species, despite its wide distribution, partly due to its position at the top of the food chain (Flannery 1990a).
Habitat
The Thylacine appeared to occupy most types of habitat except dense rainforest. Open eucalypt forest was thought to be prime habitat (Flannery 1990a).
Life Cycle
Little is known of the lifespan of the Thylacine. However, a captive individual lived in the London Zoo for nearly eight and a half years and was probably at least a year old when obtained, making it more than nine years old when it died. A second specimen lived for 12 years at Beaumaris Zoo, Tasmania (Flannery 1990a). Based on this information their life expectancy in the wild has been estimated at five to seven years (Tasmanian DPIW 2007). However, since the related Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) lives longer in the wild than in captivity, it has been postulated that the lifespan of the Thylacine in the wild may have been 12–14 years (Guiler 1985).
The Thylacine had an extended breeding season from winter to spring, with indications that some breeding toook place through out the year (Guiler 1985). The maximum number of young in a season was four although the average litter was probably three. The Thylacine, like all marsupials, was tiny and hairless when born. Newborns crawled into the mother's pouch and attached themselves to one of the four teats (Tasmanian DPIW 2007). Females carried the young in the backwards-facing pouch for up to three months (Dixon 1989). The pouch enlarged and hung down low as the young grew (Flannery 1990a). Large pouch-young had fur with stripes. When old enough to leave the pouch, the young stayed in a lair such as a deep rocky cave, well-hidden nest or hollow log, whilst the mother hunted (Tasmanian DPIW 2007).
Much of the behaviour of this species is unknown. The Thylacine has been described as a social species, living and hunting in small family groups, but some texts state that the young left the mother once they were able to hunt independantly (Flannery 1990a; Paddle 2000).
Feeding
The Thylacine was exclusively carnivorous. Its stomach was muscular with an ability to distend to allow the animal to eat large amounts of food at one time, probably an adaptation to compensate for long periods when hunting was unsuccessful and food scarce (Dixon 1998). Its prey included Bennett's Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus rufogriseus), the Long-nosed Potoroo (Potorous tridactylus), the Tasmanian Pademelon (Thylogale billardierii), the Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus tasmaniensis), wombats, and a variety of bandicoots, bats and birds. A favourite prey animal may have been the once common Tasmanian Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae diemenensis), as both dingoes and foxes have been noted to hunt the Emu on the mainland (Pople et al. 2000). They were said to eat carrion when live prey was not available, although some authorities dispute this. It was also said to have readily included domestic stock in its diet (Flannery 1990a).
The Thylacine was not a fast runner and probably caught its prey by exhausting it during a long pursuit. During long distance pursuits Thylacines probably relied more on scent than any other sense (Flannery 1990a; Guilder 1985). They emerged to hunt during the evening, night and early morning (Tasmanian DPIW 2007) and tended to retreat to the hills and forest for shelter during the day (Heberle 2004).
Movement Patterns
Although the Thylacine was mainly nocturnal, it was sighted moving during the day and captive animals were recorded basking in the sun (Flannery 1990a).
Thylacines had a typical home range of between 40 and 80 km² (Guiler 2006). It appears to have kept to its home range without being territorial (Guiler 1985; Paddle 2000).
Threats
The reasons for the Thylacine's extinction are still disputed. Some researchers have suggested that disease was instrumental in reducing its numbers although there is little evidence for this. The species decline was probably accelerated when they came into competition with domestic dogs and were hunted by humans (Flannery 1990a; Guiler 1985).
The introduction of sheep in 1824 led to conflict between the settlers and Thylacines (Guiler 1985; Tasmanian DPIW 2007). It seems likely that hunting by Europeans, firstly by the Van Dieman Land Company and private landowners, and then as a result of bounties paid by the Tasmanian government, was a significant factor in the extinction of the Thylacine. The Tasmanian government bounty was one pound for each adult scalp and ten shillings for sub-adults. Bounties were collected on 2184 animals. The government bounty numbers quoted do not include those Thylacines killed for private landholders, who also offered rewards (Flannery 1990a; Guiler 1985).
The list below records the decline of the species (Tasmanian DPIW 2007):
1830 - Van Diemens Land Company introduced a Thylacine bounty
1888 - Tasmanian Parliament placed a price of £1 on Thylacine's head
1909 - Government bounty scheme terminated: 2184 bounties paid
1910 - Thylacines rare - sought by zoos around the world
1926 - London Zoo bought its last Thylacine for £150
1933 - Last Thylacine captured, Florentine Valley, sold to Hobart Zoo
1936 - World's last captive Thylacine died in Hobart Zoo (7 September 1936)
1936 - Thylacine added to the list of protected wildlife
1986 - Thylacine declared extinct by international standards
Although its extinction is generally attributed to these relentless efforts by farmers and bounty hunters (Tasmanian PWS 2006), it is likely that multiple factors led to its decline and eventual extinction. These include competition with wild dogs introduced by settlers (Boyce 2006), loss of habitat, the concurrent extinction of prey species, and a distemper-like disease may also have affected the species (Guiler 2006; Paddle 2000; Tasmanian DPIW 2007).
There seems to have been little public pressure to preserve the Thylacine, nor was much concern expressed by scientists at the decline of this species. A notable exception was T.T. Flynn, professor of biology at the University of Tasmania. In 1914, he was sufficiently concerned about the scarcity of the Thylacine to suggest that some should be captured and placed on an island. However, it was not until 1929, with the species on the very edge of extinction, that the Animals and Birds Protection Board passed a motion protecting Thylacines only for the month of December, which was thought to be their prime breeding season (Flannery 1990a). Official protection of the species by the Tasmanian government was introduced on 10 July 1936, 59 days before the last known specimen died in captivity (Paddle 2000).
There was only one successful attempt to breed Thylacines in captivity, at Melbourne Zoo in 1899 (Paddle 2000). This was despite the large numbers that went through some zoos, particularly those in Hobart and London. The famous naturalist John Gould foresaw the Thylacine's demise when he published his Mammals of Australia between 1848 and 1863: 'When the comparatively small island of Tasmania becomes more densely populated, and its primitive forests are intersected with roads from the eastern to the western coasts, the numbers of this singular animal will speedily diminish, extermination will have its full sway, and it will then, like the wolf of England and Scotland, be recorded as an animal of the past' (Gould 1863). The last known wild Thylacine to be killed was shot by a farmer in the north-east of the state in 1930 (The Thylacine Museum 2006). The last known Thylacine died in Hobart Zoo on 7th September, 1936 (Tasmanian DPIW 2007).
Threat Abatement and Recovery
The Australian Museum in Sydney began a cloning project in 1999 (Leigh 2002). The goal was to use genetic material from specimens taken and preserved in the early 20th century to clone new individuals and restore the species. Several noted microbiologists dismissed the project as a public relations stunt (Miller 2002).
The researchers had some initial success as they were able to extract good-quality DNA from the specimens (Salleh 2000). However, on 15 February 2005, the museum announced that it was stopping the project after tests showed the DNA retrieved from the specimens had been too badly degraded to be usable (ABC News Online 2005; Smith 2005). In May 2005, Professor Michael Archer, the University of NSW Dean of Science, former director of the Australian Museum and evolutionary biologist, announced that the project was being restarted by a group of interested universities and a research institute (Dasey 2005; Skatssoon 2005). A Thylacine gene has since been extracted from alcohol-preserved Thylacine pouch young and a dried adult skin. This gene was inserted into a mouse genome, where it was able to function normally as the mouse fetus developed (Pask et al. 2008).
The International Thylacine Specimen Database (ITSD) was completed in April 2005 and is the culmination of a four-year research project to catalogue and digitally photograph, if possible, all known surviving Thylacine specimen material held within museum, university and private collections. The master records are held by the Zoological Society of London (World Conservation Monitoring Centre 1996).
Threat Class Summary
The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

http://www.parks.tas.gov.au
Thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger, Thylacinus cynocephalus
The thylacine is one of the most fabled animals in the world. Yet, despite its fame, it is one of the least understood of Tasmania's native animals. European settlers were puzzled by it, feared it and killed it when they could. After only a century of white settlement the animal had been pushed to the brink of extinction. Full details of the demise of the thylacine can be found at ourthreatened species site.
Description
The thylacine looked like a large, long dog, with stripes, a heavy stiff tail and a big head. Its scientific name, Thylacinus cynocephalus, means pouched dog with a wolfs head. Fully grown it measured about 180 cm (6 ft) from nose to tail tip, stood about 58 cm (2 ft) high at the shoulder and weighed up to 30 kg. The short, soft fur was brown except for 13 - 20 dark brown-black stripes that extended from the base of the tail to almost the shoulders. The stiff tail became thicker towards the base and appeared to merge with the body.
Thylacines were usually mute, but when anxious or excited made a series of husky, coughing barks. When hunting, they gave a distinctive terrier-like, double yap, repeated every few seconds. Unfortunately there are no recordings.
The thylacine was shy and secretive and always avoided contact with humans. Despite its common name, 'tiger' it had a quiet, nervous temperament compared to its little cousin, the Tasmanian devil. Captured animals generally gave up without a struggle, and many died suddenly, apparently from shock. When hunting, the thylacine relied on a good sense of smell, and stamina. It was said to pursue its prey relentlessly, until the prey was exhausted. The thylacine was rarely seen to move fast, but when it did it appeared awkward. It trotted stiffly, and when pursued, broke into a kind of shambling canter.
Breeding
Aboriginal art depicting thylacine, Kakadu,
Northern Australia (Photo by Ina Johnson)
Breeding is believed to have occurred during winter and spring. A thylacine, like all marsupials, was tiny and hairless when born. It crawled into the mother's rear-opening pouch, and attached itself to one of four teats. Four young could be carried at a time, but the usual litter size was probably three. As the pouch-young grew, the pouch expanded, and became so big that it reached almost to the ground. Large pouch-young had fur with stripes. When old enough to leave the pouch, the young stayed in a lair such as a deep rocky cave, well-hidden nest or hollow log, whilst the mother hunted. Thylacines lived in zoos for up to 9 years, but never bred in captivity. Their life expectancy in the wild was probably 5-7 years.
Diet
The thylacine was a meat-eater. In fact, the world's largest marsupial carnivore since the extinction ofThylacoleo the marsupial 'lion'. Its diet is believed to have consisted largely of wallabies, but included various small animals and birds. Since European settlement, the thylacine also preyed upon sheep and poultry, although the extent of this was much exaggerated. Occasionally, the thylacine scavenged. In captivity, thylacines were fed on dead rabbits and wallabies, which they devoured entirely, as well as beef and mutton.
Distribution and habitat
Fossils and Aboriginal rock paintings show that the thylacine once lived throughout Australia and New Guinea. The most recent thylacine remains have been dated as being about 2 200 years old. Predation and competition from the dingo may have contributed to the thylacine's disappearance from mainland Australia and New Guinea.
Bass Strait protected a relict population of thylacines in Tasmania. When Europeans arrived in 1803, thylacines were widespread in Tasmania. Their preferred habitat was a mosaic of dry eucalypt forest, wetlands and grasslands. They emerged to hunt on grassy plains and open woodlands during the evening, night and early morning.
Why are they extinct?
The arrival of European settlers marked the start of a tragic period of conflict that led to the thylacine's extinction. The introduction of sheep in 1824 led to conflict between the settlers and thylacines.
1830 Van Diemens Land Co. introduced a thylacine bounties.
1888 Tasmanian Parliament placed a price of £1 on thylacine's head.
1909 Government bounty scheme terminated. 2184 bounties paid.
1910 Thylacines rare -- sought by zoos around the world.
1926 London Zoo bought its last thylacine for £150.
1933 Last thylacine captured, Florentine Valley, sold Hobart Zoo.
1936 World's last captive thylacine died in Hobart Zoo, ( 7/9/36).
1936 Tasmanian tiger added to the list of protected Wildlife.
1986 Thylacine declared extinct by international standards.
Do they still exist?
In 1863, John Gould, a famous naturalist, predicted that the Tasmanian tiger was doomed to extinction:
When the comparatively small island of Tasmania becomes more densely populated, and its primitive forests are intersected with roads from the eastern to the western coast, the numbers of this singular animal will speedily diminish, extermination will have its full sway, and it will then, like the Wolf in England and Scotland, be recorded as an animal of the past...John Gould, 1863
Every effort was made, by snaring, trapping, poisoning and shooting, to fulfil his prophecy. Bounty records indicate that a sudden decline in thylacine numbers occurred early in the 20th century. Hunting and habitat destruction leading to population fragmentation, are believed to have been the main causes of extinction. The remnant population was further weakened by a distemper-like disease.
The last known thylacine died in Hobart Zoo on 7th September, 1936.
Sightings and Searches
Since 1936, no conclusive evidence of a thylacine has been found. However, the incidence of reported thylacine sightings has continued. Most sightings occur at night, in the north of the State, in or near areas where suitable habitat is still available. Although the species is now considered to be 'probably extinct', these sightings provide some hope that the thylacine may still exist.
There have been hundreds of sightings since 1936, many of which may have been clear cases of mis-identification. However, in a detailed study of sightings between 1934 and 1980, Steven Smith concluded that of a total of 320 sightings, just under half could be considered good sightings. Nonetheless, all sightings have remained inconclusive.
Interestingly, just as many sightings of equally good quality are reported from mainland Australia -- perhaps a comment on the poor evidence that sightings alone represent.
There have been a number of searches for the animal. None of these searches have been successful in proving the continued existence of the animal. The results of a few of these searches are given below:
1937 - Seargent Summers leads a search in the north-west of he state, recording many recent sightings by other persons in a large area between the Arthur and Pieman Rivers, although the party itself did not see any thylacines. He recommends a sanctuary in that area.
1945 - Well-known naturalist David Fleay searches the Jane River to Lake St Clair area, finding possible thylacine footprints.
1959 - Eric Guiler leads a search in the far north-west, an area which produced many bounties and finds what appeared to be thylacine footprints.
1963 - Eric Guiler leads a search in the Sandy Cape area but finds no evidence.
1968 - Jeremy Griffiths, James Malley and Bob Brown embark on a major search. Although they collect reports of sightings, they find no evidence of the thylacine.
1980 - Parks and Wildlife Officers, Steven Smith and Adrian Pyrke, search a wide area of the State using three automatic cameras. No evidence of thylacines is found.
1982-83 - Parks and Wildlife Officer, Nick Mooney, undertakes an extensive but unsuccessful search to confirm the 1982 sighting reported by Hans Naarding near the Arthur River in the State's north-west.
1984 - A search in Tasmania's highlands by Tasmanian Wildlife Park owner, Peter Wright, fails to turn up conclusive evidence.
1988-93 - Separate photographic searches by wildlife photographer, Dave Watts and Ned Terry fail to record a thylacine.
Hope for the Future?
The thylacine is the only mammal to have (possibly) become extinct in Tasmania since European settlement. This is in vivid contrast to mainland Australia, which has the worst record of mammalian extinctions of any country on Earth, with nearly 50% of its native mammals becoming extinct in the past 200 years. Tasmania is unique in that our fauna is abundant, and that the State acts as a refuge - a final hope -- for many species that have recently become extinct on mainland Australia.
Despite our wishes to have a perfect record, the lack of any hard evidence of the thylacine's continued existence supports the increasingly held notion that the species is extinct. Nonetheless, the incidence of sightings introduces a reluctance among some authorities to make empahatic statements on the status of the species. Even if there did exist a few remaining individuals, it is unlikely that such a tiny population would be able to maintain a sufficient genetic diversity to allow for the viable perpetuation of the species in the long-term.
Recent attention has been given to the possibility of cloning the species. However, it is very unlikely to be achievable from a single individual preserved in alchohol. Even if cloning were possible, it should be asked whether such effort and expense is justifiable when many other species are currently threatened with extinction, and when we allow the same processes that threatenen habitats and wildlife to continue.
Perhaps the lesson to be learned from the loss of the thylacine is to ensure that the rich natural heritage of our island State is no longer jeopardised.