Art in Tribeca: A Wild Life For Wildlife

Published Aug 2023

Artist: Gillie and Marc Schattner (“Gillie and Marc”)

Title: “A Wild Life For Wildlife”

Location: World Trade Center, south Oculus Plaza

Dates: May 2023, through May 2024

Bio: Gillie and Marc are a British and Australian husband and wife duo who have been creating public art together for more than 27 years. Though Gillie received no formal art training and Marc studied graphic design, the two have created thousands of sculptures and paintings that can be found in more than 250 cities around the world.

They are best known for their distinctive animal sculptures — most notably the “Rabbitwoman” and “Dogman” — that appear frequently in their work. These characters are exactly what they sound like — a woman with a rabbit’s head and a man with a dog’s head — and can be spotted in the installation up now at the Oculus. The pair have had at least 9 public exhibitions in New York City already, and, in the words of The New York Times, they are “the most successful and prolific creators of public art in New York’s History”

Background: The animal sculptures outside of the World Trade Center are a part of a larger wildlife protection project called “Love the Last,” which uses public art to raise funds and awareness for endangered animal species. The four large bronze pieces feature Rabbitwoman and Dogman interacting with rhinos, elephants, gorillas and other safari animals. Together they ride bikes, play chess and read books. Each sculpture has a spot where observers can sit to take a photo; lines are forming most days for the photo op.

There is also a QR code attached to each sculpture, that when scanned provides information about the animals’ lives and how they are under threat. Seeing the animals do human tasks, according to Gillie and Marc, encourages the public to join the journey to protect these animals.

~Rose Yardeni