Adonna Khare’s large-scale drawings of animals command immediate attention: they are big, iconic, and lovingly rendered. Once you come closer, details emerge that suggest a story, conferring human attributes onto the animal figures. Consider Rhinos, a drawing depicting a rhinoceros family of three gathered around a rocky void. A cluster of balloons, a common motif for the artist, hovers over the group, symbolizing the fragility and innocence of childhood. Ruptures in the skin of the smallest rhinoceros spew streams of water, while the older animals’ horns unpeel like bananas, ripe for consumption.
This work directly references the decimation of the wild rhinoceros population through excessive hunting—their horns command top dollar on the black market. The placement of the animals in a rapidly flooding environment conveys the imminence of their grim future. For the artist, animals serve as the ideal vehicles to communicate fundamental stories of ourselves and our world.