World Rhino Day is on September 22 of each year and celebrates all five species of rhino – black, white, greater one-horned, Javan and Sumatran rhinos. Raising awareness about the plight of these beautiful animals is so important because their existence is under increasing threat from poachers and illegal trade.
In 1983, Andy Warhol created a series of ten color screen prints that portrayed endangered animals from around the world, including this black rhino. The Endangered Species portfolio was commissioned by Ronald and Frayda Feldman, long-time political and environmental activists who support innovative art projects and installations through their art gallery, Ronald Feldman Fine Art, New York.
According to the Feldman’s, the idea for the portfolio emerged after conversations with Warhol about ecological issues that included a discussion about beach erosion. Warhol was always interested in animals and when Ronald Feldman proposed the idea, the artist embraced it. Today, the loss of habitat and biodiversity are still hot topics as the impact of development reaches critical thresholds.