Whimsical Animals in Art

A new exhibit at Gallery Nucleus fetes funky animalia.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Friday, Feb 8, 2013  |  Updated 7:32 AM PDT
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Whimsical Animals in Art

Sean Kenney

"The Animal Kingdom" opens at Gallery Nucleus on Saturday, Feb. 16. The art? It's animals with a funky or unusual spin (like this LEGO rabbit from artist Sean Kenney).

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Animals in art? We've heard there are one or two, now and then.

Oh, we jest. Beasts, both of the domestic and wild sort, have been a dominant theme in art from cave walls to people making cat videos and posting them online. We're enthralled with our furrier planet companions (and scalier and featherier, too), and we want to represent them in our creative pursuits.

But for many years -- let's just go to the word "centuries" here -- animals were very strictly represented in their natural, or near natural, form. Go to a museum and you'll see elk looking elk-like and deer prancing like deer do and dogs that are 100% canine-authentic.

Sometimes, though, a bit of whimsy and weirdness helps bring out a beast's true spirit. Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra will put the focus on furry funky fun starting on Saturday, Feb. 16 with its new exhibit "The Animal Kingdom."

What's there? Well, animals, yes, but not doing the things animals normally do. There is a rabbit in LEGOS by Sean Kenney that we're rather hippity-hoppity about, and a polar bear, a snake, and a bird all locked in battle (or a strange dance).

A little whimsy is nice with something that we've seen portrayed so strictly throughout the ages. And, certainly, if you have a pet, you know that they are funnier and weirder than many artworks sometimes give them credit for. Why not honor that now and then?

"The Animal Kingdom" will be on display at Gallery Nucleus from Saturday, Feb. 16 through Sunday, March 3.

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