Artist Colin Prestage created this incredibly tender portrait of two monkeys hugging in a piece called Sticking Together. The photorealistic drawing, made using just colored pencils, took the artist weeks to complete. It was a challenge both technically and mentally. “As anyone who creates art in a realist method can testify, it takes a lot of patience and a lot of practice,” he says. “For me, personally, it's not about creating something that looks like a photograph, which is often a moment in time, rather, I want to create work that connects with people and provokes an emotion whilst also being pleasing to look at.”
He continues, “I was struck by the closeness of these Barbary macaques to each other and spent a long time watching this couple, pondering the relationships they have and how similar they can be to our own. I want people who view the work to reflect back upon themselves and remember a time when they had the same intimacy and closeness with someone, be it a parent and child, siblings or partners. For me, it's especially about that intimacy between two individuals where no one and nothing else exists in that moment. The softness of fur embodies the tenderness between them but also protection from the jagged rocks and the outside world. I want to show how feelings for someone special can often help see us through difficult times.”
Prestage will be showing this work alongside French sculptor Pascal Chesneau's Transparence Elephant at London's Mall Galleries as part of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation Wildlife Artist of the Year award. The exhibition will end on June 7.