Proboscidea as art

nick brandt, homage to elephants, elephant art, sand sculpture, mechanical sculpture, origami animals, paper sculpture, animal protection, human and wildlife coexistence

Elephants, or Proboscidea (their taxonomic classification, including one living family, Elephantidae, and several extinct ones) seemed an appropriate title for art that has been created to honor these majestic, intelligent creatures (photographed above in epic and intimate splendor by Nick Brandt).

Having been fortunate to observe African elephants in the wild many times, they have become more and more fascinating and dear to me.

And apparently to many creatives as well. From naturalistic to highly-stylized, through mechanical and abstract, here is a collection of interpretations, renditions and homages to the elephant as art, in various media.

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For artist Diem Chau, her tools are her art. For this piece, she used the tip of a lead pencil carved to create a minute, yet extremely detailed elephant sculpture.

Diem Chau, homage to elephants, elephant art, sand sculpture, mechanical sculpture, origami animals, paper sculpture, animal protection, human and wildlife coexistence

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Origami artist Sipho Mabona crafted one sheet of paper, a 50 ft square, into a life-sized elephant exhibit standing over 10 feet tall. Watch the White Elephant unfold.

Sipho Mabona, homage to elephants, elephant art, sand sculpture, mechanical sculpture, origami animals, paper sculpture, animal protection, human and wildlife coexistence

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Seattle-based artist Jeffry Mitchell’s work is a mix of idiosyncratic sculptures and prints. In his interactive Elephant Lantern, childhood experiences appear to have influenced its creation.

Jeffry Mitchell, homage to elephants, elephant art, sand sculpture, mechanical sculpture, origami animals, paper sculpture, animal protection, human and wildlife coexistence

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Longtime sand artists, Brit Paul Hoggard and his Dutch wife Remy, have traveled the world creating massive sand monuments of mermaids, lions and here, Hannibal crossing the Alps atop his mighty elephant.

homage to elephants, elephant art, sand sculpture, mechanical sculpture, origami animals, paper sculpture, animal protection, human and wildlife coexistence, paul hoggard

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Artist Matt “Monsterbrick” Armstrong created this bionic, moveable elephant titled Poachers Beware.

matt Armstrong, homage to elephants, elephant art, sand sculpture, mechanical sculpture, origami animals, paper sculpture, animal protection, human and wildlife coexistence

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Commercial and fine artist Guido Daniele began his Handimals series in 2000 by hand-painting hyper-realistic wildlife on carefully posed hands.

Guido Daniele, homage to elephants, elephant art, sand sculpture, mechanical sculpture, origami animals, paper sculpture, animal protection, human and wildlife coexistence

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South African sculptor Andries Botha created this beautiful elephant sculpture from recycled driftwood to call attention to issues of human/wildlife co-existence. While the elephant is extremely powerful, it remains alarmingly vulnerable. His artwork creates a timely metaphor.

Botha’s Human Elephant Foundation seeks to create a better, respectful world. It addresses social and ecological imbalances, as well as vulnerabilities to environments and wildlife resulting from the human footprint.

homage to elephants, elephant art, sand sculpture, mechanical sculpture, origami animals, paper sculpture, animal protection, human and wildlife coexistence, Andries Botha,

 All photographs © their respective artists.

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