This detail is taken from the art exhibition On the Origin of Species (after Darwin) by Tim Rollins + K.O.S., which was sponsored by Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species and the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth.
Tim Rollins, teacher and conceptual artist, began working with special education teenagers in the South Bronx in the early 1980s. He developed an approach where the students, who named themselves K.O.S. (Kids of Survival), produced works of art based on classic literature.
Rollins observed that when these students were engaged in classroom discussions of literature, they often drew or painted on the pages of their books. He encouraged them to share their drawings with one another and then to work together to create collaborative visual expressions of their response to the literature. Over the course of nearly three decades, they have created artwork based on Franz Kafka’s Amerika, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.
Tim Rollins + K.O.S. have exhibited extensively worldwide and their work is in prestigious collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., and the Tate Modern in London.