The Contemporary Tern in Bird Illustration
July 10, 2018 2:51 PM   Subscribe

The Audubon Society has been inviting contemporary artists to reimagine the illustrations from The Birds of America (online edition). Some favourites: Gaby D'Alessandro: Ruby Throated Hummingbird; Olaf Hajek, Great Egret; April SGaana Jaad White: American White Ibis; L7m: Southern Caracara.

Inexplicably, there doesn't seem to be a way of seeing an index of all the pages at once, but there seem to be more than the landing page of 24 illustrations.

The Audubon Society is also sponsoring a graphic novel (Amazon), and a multi-sited bird mural program in Harlem, New York City.
posted by Rumple (8 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I love these! It’s fascinating how these illustrations are less informative but still instantly recognizable, the burrowing owl is particularly perfect.
posted by lepus at 3:18 PM on July 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Lovely. Thanks.
posted by Splunge at 3:23 PM on July 10, 2018

These are gorgeous, and I had never heard of this project before. I particularly loved the Haida formline style-influenced American White Ibis. I saw some of the original pages of Audobon's illustrations at the Beinecke Library at Yale and was struck by how much more impressive they were in person. I can only imagine that these re-imaginings are the same way, particularly the graffiti (!) Southern Caracara.
posted by hepta at 3:55 PM on July 10, 2018

The arctic tern reimagining instead illustrates the absence of an arctic tern, an intriguing choice, perhaps intended to highlight the way this fragile ecosystem is gradually disappearing

but also something of a shame, because one good tern deserves another

i'll show myself out

posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 4:00 PM on July 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

A+ for the title alone
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 4:05 PM on July 10, 2018

So cool -- thanks for sharing! My son is heads-over-heels for birds; I'll share some of this artwork with him.

Though my son loves all birds, the robin stands clear above all others in his rankings. (Yes we have rankings, my current #1 is the loon.) And so I recently purchased him this robin portrait.

Wouldn't you know it: the artist behind the robin portrait, Ryan Berkley, also has some artwork as part of this project!! I suspected as much the instant I saw the illustration of the cedar waxwing -- same dapper portrait style!
posted by Theophrastus Johnson at 5:26 PM on July 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

I shared this with my birder mother who loves that cedar waxwing.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:35 PM on July 10, 2018

Ahhh the Roseate Spoonbill, it's perfect! And made out of a water bottle
posted by sacchan at 7:39 AM on July 12, 2018

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