Image of Jenny Kendler's drawing series "The Extinction Portraits" showing people wearing extinct species masks
Installation view of The Extinction Portraits
Graphite on paper, painted frames, hand-dyed funerary ribbons, custom brass plaques

This series of graphite drawings, shown at a solo show entitled Wunderkammer at Kasia Kay Art Projects, features portraits of human beings wearing masks of extinct animals. Each person is drawn from a portrait taken in the year each animal became extinct -- raising questions of identity, culpability & grief. How do we assimilate and deal with irreparable loss? How do we as human beings take on the identities of these lost animal species?

The 'museum-style' brass plaque below each portrait is inscribed with the animal's common name, its scientific name, and the year in which it became extinct.