Jacked: Panthera Atrox

solo installation at Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles


Recycled plastic, wood, aluminum, steel, motor, LED lights, fasteners
Size= 156 l x 43 w x 54 h (without beam extended). With beam extended, height is 84" inches

Informed by a long-standing interest in ecological issues, Cynthia Minet’s animal sculptures— featuring her signature use of found plastic materials and LED lights—address the complicated roles of plastic, consumer culture, and electricity in modern life. Minet’s Jacked: Panthera Atrox is one-part animal and one-part machine combining the form of the panthera leo atrox—an extinct North American lion whose remains have been excavated from the La Brea Tar Pits—with the mechanisms of a modern-day oil pump jack. By using post-consumer plastics to construct the hybrid form, Minet draws attention to both the past and the present of petroleum, simultaneously referencing the ancient animal remains that have been preserved in the Miracle Mile area’s tar pits and highlighting the damage that consumption of petroleum products has had upon the environment and animal species. In doing so, she illustrates the entire cycle of petroleum, from its discovery in its rawest form as tar to its processed state as everyday plastic.

To create her work, Minet collected plastic bottles, toys, and other products from the trash or second-hand stores. She meticulously cuts the plastic components into shapes that are joined together over an armature to create the final form. Minet worked with two collaborators to realize her project, Mike Roof on the mechanical aspects of her piece and Vaughn Hannon on lighting design.

written by curator: Holly Jerger

To see a video of the piece in motion, click here