In cinema, a post-apocalyptic world is often portrayed in ashen grays as a Mad-Max-desertscape devoid of life. But what if the emergent earth is teeming with rich, nuclear colors and animals thriving in our absence? In Ali Fitzgerald’s new exhibition, “Strong Animal,” the “vermin” we once lived alongside are the protagonists of a post-human society. Rapidly evolving flora and fauna are tinged with nuclear florescence, and rising sea levels have returned Berlin to its marshland origins.
In a series titled “Animal Propaganda Posters,” Fitzgerald imagines what the political machinations of animals would look like. Her psychedelic watercolors recall resistance visuals, 20th century propaganda posters and naturalist drawings.
In her series, “Bombweed,” Fitzgerald uses the language of botanical illustration to envision the mutated, perverse beauty of flora after an environmental collapse. She paints the imagined, entwined, and twinned flowers which flourish in our bombed-out locales.
In “Strong Animal,” Fitzgerald uses sensual lines and satire to force into view ethical and existential questions like, “How is propaganda constructed?” and “What happens when we’re gone?” and, “Will it be beautiful?”
Ali Fitzgerald is an artist and writer living in Berlin. She is a regular contributor to the New Yorker as well as the New York Times. Her work has also been published in the Guardian, New York Magazine: The Cut, Modern Painters Magazine, McSweeney’s and elsewhere.
Her art has been exhibited internationally, including the Haus am Luetzowplatz in Berlin, the Center for Book Arts in New York and the Austin Museum of Art.
In 2017 she was awarded the Cornish CCS fellowship at the Center for Cartoon Studies and in 2018 the Georgia Fee Residency with Artslant in Paris. In the Spring of 2018 she collaborated with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on a series of drawings about Magritte. In 2020 she will be a fellow at the Maison des Artistes in Angoulême, France.
Her graphic nonfiction book, “Drawn to Berlin,” about teaching comics in refugee shelters and Berlin’s evolving relationship to Bohemia and immigration was named one of the top ten comics of 2018 by New York Magazine:Vulture and received the Independent Publisher’s Award for Best Drawn Book of 2018.