wUG LAKU'S STUDIO & gARAGE; through
Jillian Ludwig's beautifully rendered
illustrations of animals drawn in graphite with additions of gouache, pastel,
colored pencil or acrylic paint may seem serene. The animals are
sensitively depicted, usually in arrangements of a mother and her young with a
meandering pink ribbon interplaying within the composition.
Likenesses are realistic and
superficially playful, but more is happening in Ludwig's Fam Farm
series. Skin is exposed on the backs of most animals, made visually seductive
with soft salmon and pink colors and speckled with dots.
In "Pink Pig," tied bows from the pink
ribbon bond three piglets, each with an exposed wound. Ludwig's ribbon suggests
the animals are presented to consumers like gifts while also pointing to the
Getting people to think about animal
treatment and where their food comes from is part of Ludwig's motive in
producing Fam Farm. Her approach is softer than the more political
illustrations of internationally known animal activist Sue Coe. Ludwig,
who currently resides in Lafayette, Indiana, said this series is, "Me not
shouting at other people, but me changing myself."
The images are ironically palatable.
Pink balloons hover over the mother in "Rhino" before making us realize that
what looks like decorative icing on her back is really a repugnant injury, a
sugarcoated message that won't disappear soon.