Jun 26, 2012

Are Insects Wildlife Art?

Do you consider painting of bugs "wildlife art"?
I created a wildlife art group on FineArtAmerica.com and when people submit images I sometimes have a hard time deciding whether or not to accept them into the group. Horses, for example, are borderline. It depends on if they are portrayed as domestic animals or wild horses. Hunting and fishing scenes are generally accepted in the art world as "wildlife art" although to me it depends on whether the focal point is the animal or the hunter/fisherman.

One thing I have a hard time with is insects. Is a butterfly on a daisy considered "wildlife"? Probably, because we like butterflies, we'd say yes. What about an ant crawling up a blade of grass? Hmmm. Maybe. What about a stagnant pond swarming with mosquitoes? Is that "wildlife art"? I don't know. It seems we decide if insects are accepted into the "wildlife art" genre largely upon whether or not we like that particular insect or if we're repulsed by it.

Yes, technically insects are wildlife by definition. But talking more about the way we categorize art. There are just some fuzzy areas there. Fish in a pond is another example. If it's a perch it would be considered wildlife art. But what if it's a koi pond? Are they considered domesticated? They're not really pets. More like zoo animals. But zoo animals are considered wildlife, not domesticated. So they're not really wild ... but they're wild animals.

And what about some birds? Parrots are wild, but also pets. Parrots are generally portrayed in art as wild birds. But what about parakeets? They are wild but we generally associate them with being caged pets.

Mice? Rabbits? Lizards? All can be wild or pets. Where do they go in the art world and what do you do to make the distinction?

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