Author: Alicia Muir

Animals in Art

Animals have inspired and featured in art since our earliest ancestors were drawing on the walls of caves. As well as providing the perfect means to explore and represent nature, animals are often imbued with symbolism of both real and imagined meanings. This viewing room explores the different ways that animals are used in art; from the humorous, to the aesthetic, to the political.

Animal Art Collection

The tradition of using animals as a substitute for humans in stories and fables has resulted in an acceptance of the personification of animals. The inextricable link between animals and nature ensures that animals can be used in art to address climate and global concerns. By making an animal central to an artwork, artists can provoke an emotional sense in the viewer, as well as awe for the natural world and a reminder of the responsibility that we have to preserve it.

David Shrigley’s ‘I Hate Humans’ raises and simplifies the global warming crisis with the depiction of a polar bear, an animal we are aware is one of the most affected by the rapidly melting ice caps. Shrigley’s animals also take three-dimensional forms, as seen in his ‘Swan’ statuette. In the artist's signature caricature-like style, he transforms the elegant swan into a straight-necked, smiley-faced character.

Jeff Koons' balloon animals are similarly comedic, however the artist has disclosed that his works have no hidden meanings. Taking the form of ordinary items and cartoon characters, Koons’ curious and kitsch reflective sculptures are informed by advertising and highlight contemporary consumerism.

Dave White and Louise McNaught both create dynamic depictions of animals through oil and watercolour to promote endangered species and shine a light on global warming. In White’s words, his work ‘represents the fragile balance of order and chaos in the natural world and the impact we are having on our environment.’ McNaught chooses to use vibrant colours and surrealist elements that elevate her animal subjects to a heavenly and god-like status.
The following artworks are the perfect demonstration of how artists utilise animal imagery to express issues important to them in relatable ways.

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I Hate Humans by David Shrigley


David Shrigley lives and works in Brighton, UK and is famous for his humorous drawings and hand-written text works. We love the way his artwork is both relatable and funny, turning simple everyday encounters into comedic and often satirical commentary that often draw attention to the darker side of life. 

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Balloon Monkey (Orange) by Jeff Koons


Jeff Koons is an American Neo-Pop artist, widely regarded as one of the most influential and controversial artists of the post war era. Jeff Koons plays with ideas of taste, pleasure, celebrity, and commerce - creating a style seen as ironic or tongue-in-cheek. His art prints and sculptures borrow widely from art-historical techniques and styles; although his practice blends several existing styles - pop, conceptual, craft - to create his own unique mode of expression.

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Ribboned Tiger by Otto Schade 


Otto Schade is a Chilean-born artist who combines surrealism and street art to great effect. With an artistic style fluctuating between the boundaries of surrealism and abstract, the themes for his works are generally related to the artist’s private stories, offering a unique insight into his dreams and obsessions, as well as political issues and pop culture. Working mainly with oil paint and traditional supports such as stretched canvas, he also practices collage, illustration and stencil. 

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Persist by Louise McNaught 


Louise lives and works in London, UK and is known for her distinctive paintings of animals. We love her commitment to animals and the natural world, which she intends to raise awareness on the delicate relationship between humans and wildlife. Louise is also the author of the book ‘Survival’ which focuses on endangered species through a twenty-page portrayal of animals and their fight to survive.

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Apex Deck Triptych by Dave White


Dave White is a contemporary British artist who is best known for his striking oil and watercolour pieces that use abstract marks such as paint splashes and dripping to create a coherent image that breathes life into the subject. White excels in capturing the vividness of animals and injects them with a vibrant energy that is unique to his work.

Looking for more animal artworks? Explore our specially created collection here.


The Wild Swim from £120

Oli Mumby

Various sizes

Off You Pop by Louise Nordh
Off You Pop £95

Louise Nordh

35 x 35cm

Limited edition of 30

Inside Mickey's Heart from £150

Angel London

Various sizes

Navy Boy £175

Charlie Evaristo-Boyce

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 25

I Will Bite from £135

Mathilda Mai

Various sizes

Italian Summer by SODA
Italian Summer £125


42 x 29.7cm

Limited edition of 40

Let's Get It On £595

Linda Charles

56 x 76cm

Limited edition of 45

Wash the Blues Away by Charlie Haydn Taylor
Wash the Blues Away from £150

Charlie Haydn Taylor

Various sizes

Inhale £175

Joe Webb

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 30

Roarsome - Green by And Wot
Roarsome - Green £195

And Wot

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 2

Fresh £200

Hannah Adamaszek

60 x 75.5cm

Limited edition of 15

Destroy the Patriarchy Not the Planet (Mini) £400

Hannah Shillito

27.9 x 21cm

Limited edition of 20

Scratchin' Cats (Blue) £150

The Cameron Twins

33 x 36cm

Limited edition of 20

Fast Dog £95

Gavin Dobson

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 100

Pangolin - Framed by Lisa Lloyd
Ready To Hang
Pangolin - Framed £150 £130

Lisa Lloyd

44 x 44cm

Limited edition of 50

In The Sky With Stars £195

Charlie Evaristo-Boyce

70 x 100cm

Limited edition of 16

Meet Me in Matisse's Garden - Framed by Benjamin Thomas Taylor
Ready To Hang
Meet Me in Matisse's Garden - Framed £275 £255

Benjamin Thomas Taylor

56 x 76cm

Limited edition of 25

Gamebuoy by Nick Chaffe
Gamebuoy £100

Nick Chaffe

29.7 x 42cm

Limited edition of 50

Seascape W £300

Newton Blades

50 x 30cm

Limited edition of 100

Space Cadet - Magma by RYCA
Space Cadet - Magma £180


13 x 26cm

Limited edition of 12

Attitude - Framed by Sara Pope
Ready To Hang
Attitude - Framed £110

Sara Pope

33.5 x 33.5cm

Limited edition of 100

Ley Lines £450

Maxine Gregson

100 x 50cm

Limited edition of 250

'Amazing' Shell - Framed by Charlie Evaristo-Boyce
Ready To Hang
'Amazing' Shell - Framed £125 £113

Charlie Evaristo-Boyce

54 x 20cm

Limited edition of 50

What's That Then by Nick Chaffe
Ready To Hang
What's That Then £400

Nick Chaffe

27.8 x 54.8cm

Limited edition of 5

Les Oiseaux - Artist Proof £295


42 x 29.7cm

Limited edition of 50

See You Later Alligator! £550

The Cameron Twins

51 x 72cm

Limited edition of 10

The Olive Branch (Azzuro) £2,500

Magnus Gjoen

95 x 120cm

Limited edition of 3

Down The Rabbit Hole... by Mark Petty
Ready To Hang
Down The Rabbit Hole... £295

Mark Petty

27 x 37cm

Limited edition of 50

AZUL Mini £125

Florence Blanchard

40 x 40cm

Limited edition of 25

Blue Sway £170

Angus Vasili

59.4 x 84.1cm

Limited edition of 8