Resting Elk

Researching Elk online I came across hundreds, perhaps thousands, of images of hunters with their prey. Downloading images from Google search and using Photoshop, I removed the hunter and weapon and concealed  the animals’ wounds.

Resting Elk #1 (20114)
Resting Elk #2 (2014)
Resting Elk #3 (2024)
Resting Elk #4 (2014)
Resting Elk #5 (2014)
Resting Elk #6 (2014)
Resting Elk #7 (2014)

In the eighteenth century, wealthy patrons were often painted in their death bed surrounded by grieving loved ones and representations of their accumulated possesions. When the fad of displaying such works waned there was an impulse to preserve the images of fancy dress and lavish architectural interiors and to refurbish the image to a seemingly more cheerful state. The eyes of the corpse painted open, tears erased from mourners’ faces, serious expressions softened by a second artist’s brush.

Examining the elk hunter photos posted online; some of the images so carefully composed, the hunter’s appearance of satisfaction, weapon displayed, the dead elk seems peaceful. It isn’t hunting that is being examined, rather the connection of killing to media. Why do we feel compelled to record and publish representation of the most intimidate and sacred moments?

Imagining myself a production worker I used the most primitive Photoshop technique with the least moves. Lasso tool around the hunter, delete. Rectangle tool the landscape, copy and paste under background layer, drag into position and transform. In this way, each image is modified as quickly as possible.