Brett Murray, 2017 (South Africa)
Bronze, Edition 3/3, 96 3/8 x 94 3/8 x 83 in.
“Alan and I had just traveled to Rwanda and knew we wanted something African for the collection. I went into a gallery, first by myself, saw the boxing bunnies and started laughing. Then I saw the Gorilla, and it made me feel happy—so huge and hunched. In real life gorillas can be menacing, and here is this happy guy.”
Anthropomorphic animals like this exaggeratedly rotund and massive gorilla are central to Brett Murray’s work. Reflecting on the conflicts that often come from religious fundamentalism, Murray is interested in the concept of the “Other” as manufactured through populist fear-mongering. Murray utilizes the gorilla as a metaphor for the “Other,” physically representing and then humanizing the “Other” through the gorilla, an animal that is almost human, but not quite.