Animals are the most common creatures in my work. They have been appearing for years like a leitmotif or a thing symbol. Even in my children's drawings, rabbits, seals and cats play their games. The child has no idea that animals are threatened with extinction. As light-heartedly as it dances with the hare, I am all the more concerned about this never-ending project. In the meantime, 150 plant and animal species are dying every day.

My drawings and prints - populated with animal humans and fantasy animals - in the sixties and seventies were followed by an intensive preoccupation with the primordial signs of mankind, where there are countless representations of animals.
Rubdowns of rock carvings in the canyons of the Black Hills (USA), Israel and Africa - always animals - complemented the research.
Through stays in indigenous cultures: Mexico, Nazca and decisively in 1981 in Rosebud Reservation with the Lakota people, I began to research the way of life and the habitat of animals.
Animal encounters with coyotes, snakes and other critters benefited my work.
In the 1980s I learned about the red list of endangered animals. I made about 60 chalk drawings on black painted paper, which - mounted on iron ladders with magnets - were shown under the title MEMORIAL in 1990 at the Zollhof Düsseldorf (Winkelmann Gallery) and other places.
Over decades, sketchbooks with animal studies piled up, later joined by overpainted etchings, slate tiles and canvases. Animals are shown pictured that are endangered, highly endangered, threatened with extinction or already extinct, such as the forest elephant or the passenger pigeon.
In the colourful paintings, mixed media on canvas, (see new works) an attempt is made and illustrated to re-establish the original connection between man and animal.
From the combination and contrast between the slate tile with the information and the painterly realisation of the theme on the canvas, an exciting installation is intended.

FRANEK in May 2023

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