I began this piece with an interview of my friend and classmate, Olivia, about some of her beliefs. We talked a lot about her interest in animal rights, and her refusal to wear fur, which seemed to conflict with her infatuation with celebrity culture and high fashion. In both celebrity culture and in high fashion, there is very little attention paid to animal rights, and the attention that is given to it, is directed in clothing lines and ad campaigns that add to the wonder of celebrity, and give very little attention to actual deconstruction of the fur and leather industry.
In this piece, I chose to depict Olivia in a series of portraits in a (faux) fur vest, pearl necklace, and long silver earrings, which reference a sense of luxury, celebrity, and fashion. Behind her is an image of an African landscape, populated with animals like lions, zebras, and giraffes. As the photographs move from frame one to frame five, the animals in the backdrop slowly recede until there are very few left. This change mimics what is occurring in many countries around the world now, as animals who have made them their home, are quickly in danger of becoming endangered or even extinct, due to poaching for their fur, horns, bones, or fins.