Faces of the Wild

Permanent Exhibition
Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W 31st St, Brookfield, IL 60513
Visit the sculpture, click for map >

Past Exhibition - April 1st - July 31st, 2022
New York City’s Ruth Wittenberg Triangle 

The Sculpture Experience 
Standing at 1.8m tall are the faces of 9 of the most endangered animals in the world. Created by internationally renowned public artists Gillie and Marc and based on the many photographs and sketches they have taken of wildlife over the past 15 years, this monumental exhibition is giving the public a unique experience to look deep into the eyes of these threatened animals in an intimate exchange, coming face to face with extinction.

The 9 animals include the northern white rhino, chimpanzee, addax, western lowland gorilla, polar bear, red wolf, African forest elephant, hippopotamus, and the lion. These animals come from all over the world, from the African savannahs to the rainforests of Indonesia. They are all beautiful, instantly recognisable, yet in desperate need of help.

In a fusion of conservation and contemporary art, the public is given an urgent message. This public sculpture experience is letting the public see these animals up close and personal, becoming aware of how endangered they really are. Because the public doesn’t see these animals in their day to day life, they may not realise how much they are at risk. This exhibition is changing this. The animals have been brought to the urban jungle, into the lives of the public in a brand new way. And once they can see them in this light, a part of their own home, then a bond can be formed.

As the public goes to each individual sculpture they will be able to do what no one has ever been able to do before. They will be able to look deep into the eyes of the most endangered animals in the world, seeing in exquisite detail the lines and shapes of these unique creatures. And even better, they will be able to touch their heads with their own, a moment of deep reverence and love that will stay with them forever. Once they have made this connection they will never be able to look away again. They will become the new saviours of animals.

To make this sculpture have even more of a lasting impact it is also educational and interactive. Along with each individual animal comes a QR code. The QR codes will enable the public to learn all about the animals. They will also discover important information about conservation, sparking enthusiasm and generating awareness about the important work needed. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the public to get up close and personal with the faces of these animals and fall in love.

Conservation must become the most important issue in everybody’s mind if we are to change the path to save the wild world.


WWF® and ©1986 Panda Symbol are owned by WWF. All rights reserved.

Saving nature is at the very heart of WWF’s work. For over 60 years, the organization has sought to find solutions to help save the marvelous array of life on our planet, by applying the best science available and working closely with local communities who live near and among wildlife.

WWF works in nearly 100 countries, developing and delivering innovative solutions that protect communities, wildlife, and the places in which they live. Through these initiatives, WWF endeavors to save populations of the most ecologically, economically and culturally important species in the wild. Ultimately, by protecting species, we can save this beautiful, vulnerable and utterly irreplaceable planet both species and people call home.

But WWF’s work is far from done. Humans are behind the current rate of species extinction, which is at least 100–1,000 times higher than nature intended. We’ve seen an astonishing 68% decline in the size of populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians between 1970 and 2016—and the impacts will reach far beyond the potential cultural loss of iconic species like tigers, rhinos and whales.

In recent years, the conservation world has also observed some glimmers of hope. WWF has been part of inspiring wildlife recovery work ranging from black rhinos in Southern Africa to polar bears in the Arctic. And this, in turn, is helping to protect rich and varied ecosystems while ensuring people continue to benefit from nature.

This much is clear: we cannot afford to fail in our mission to save a living planet.

Arts and culture is an integral part of NYC DOT’s efforts to enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers in the public realm. Public art, performances and cultural programming presented on NYC DOT property create attractive corridors, activate public space, increase access to arts, cultural and educational resources, establish meaningful partnerships with community stakeholders, and provide paid opportunities to the creative arts sector of NYC.

The Village Alliance, a business improvement district (BID), has proved itself to be a leading advocate for the Village community for nearly thirty years.  The Alliance works to keep the area safe, clean and beautiful by providing programming, public art, maintenance, public safety and landscaping to 44 blocks in Central Greenwich Village.  The BID works with businesses, residents and cultural and academic institutions to drive economic growth. For more information, visit https://greenwichvillage.nyc/

Headquartered in NYC, The Thomas Collective is a creative agency that uses the science of motivation to build campaigns for consumer brands.