It’s been a long time coming, but Astor Place is finally home to the world’s largest rhino sculpture, The Last Three, by New York and Sydney-based contemporary art duo, Gillie and Marc Schattner. We’ve been patiently waiting for its installation since last summer, and its official unveiling took place today.
Yesterday, Untapped reader Kaelin Sprawls (@ksprawls) shared photos of The Last Three ahead of its debut. At the time, it was still barricaded on all sides. For the sake of size comparison, you can see pictures of Gillie and Marc standing beside their piece here.
I run across Astro Place almost everyday as I try to catch the 6 train to work, todays encounter had three unexpected visitors. #TheLastThree #AstroPlace #RhinoSculpture https://t.co/MeKLY3KIPx pic.twitter.com/Opk3Lilk4D
— Kaelin Sprawls (@ksprawls) March 14, 2018
Inspired by the world’s final three Northern White Rhinos, Sudan and his infertile daughters Najin and Fatu, the husband-and-wife duo conceptualized the piece as an ode to the species. They hope to bring awareness to wildlife conservation and encourage the global community to end rhino horn sales. “Love is the first step to prevent extinction,” said Gillie at the unveiling ceremony. “We chose New York City because of the visibility.”
The exhibit is now open to the public and viewers are being called upon to visit goodbyerhinos.org to send their personal goodbye messages to the rhinos, which will also double as a petition to the U.N. calling for an end to poaching.
“Our mission is to collect at least 1-million goodbye messages and put them towards a petition for approaching governments about eliminating the demand for rhino horns through education” says Gillie, “You can help by leaving a goodbye message for Sudan before he’s gone forever.”
In addition to this initiative, Intrepid Travel, the world’s largest adventure travel company, is offering an expedition to Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy that will allow guests to see the last surviving Northern White Rhinos in person. For more information, visit intrepidtravel.com.
[UPDATE: Since this article was written, Sudan has passed away.]