Orly Cogan, ‘Arriere Grand-pere’, 2014, Robert Mann Gallery

Resembling a bored doodle in a torn-out magazine page, Arriere Grand-Pere shows our favorite childhood elephant king, Babar, popping into the art gallery through a window beneath a Peter Beard photo collage of an elephant bull. New York-based Israeli artist Orly Cogan often appropriates domestic textiles like linens or handkerchiefs, on which she embroiders feminist subjects, but here she departs from that material intervention, instead choosing to sew her character into an art auction catalog page. Perhaps Cogan seeks to irreverently connect the art market and children’s books as two forms of aesthetic consumption that shape our worldview. Alternatively she may see a space of innocence and slaughter in aligning the dark undertones of Babar’s terrorization by poachers with those of the Beard piece, a committed conservationist known for his often gruesome photo diaries of the plight of the African elephant.

About Orly Cogan