No Help for the Innocent, Aquatint Etching
Etchings, monotypes and relief prints are created to evoke an emotional reaction though visual “stories” depicted from the animal subjects’ sentient point-of-view. The goal is to provide an opening for the viewer, a provocation to think more deeply about this topic which is most often trivialized. A visual narrative is created that compels the viewer to look beyond the obvious and delve into the reality of each subject’s situation. Depiction of the unique being is paramount, contrary to the stereotyped version that has commonly been promoted. The innate character of the individual is visually tangible and there is always more than what is apparent at first glance.
My inspiration comes from many sources, philosophical, artistic, and most importantly, the animal subjects themselves. Philosophers such as Jeremy Bentham and Peter Singer questioned the accepted status quo that humans should have unfettered license to torture, abuse and destroy non-human lives as they see fit. The message and the story of the darker side to human nature is represented brilliantly by Francisco de Goya, whose etchings have inspired me since I was a teenager. But, I am mostly motivated by the misery of the animals I see all around us; from the calf desperately licking the air through the grates of an overcrowded cattle truck that’s speeding down the highway on a hot day to the video of a screaming monkey as probes are being drilled into its head. These horrors, these injustices must be commented on and dealt with if we are to evolve and improve our society, move away from barbarism towards a civilized coexistence with fellow animals. With my awareness of the conditions in which non-humans exist in the human world, I am determined to shed light on what is happening through the visual language of my artwork.
2015, SPIDER INK STUDIO/ELANA GOREN. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.