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The Last to Win, 2009

David Ross Harper
Canada, 1984
cowhide, cotton embroidery floss, synthetic hair, polyurethane, steel, and epoxy clay
200 x 229 x 50 cm
Purchased 2011
National Gallery of Canada (no. 43238)

"He's not a racehorse or a work horse; he's just the last to win," explains David Ross Harper about the sculpture he created using taxidermy techniques and on which he embroidered classical motifs of his own design. Harper is known for his meticulously crafted renditions of animals conjured in part for the stories these creatures may evoke. Yet, unlike the lifeless specimens of natural history museums, "The Last to Win" "is telling me something," he writes, "Its stance, its markings ... it wants me to know something. I wanted to load it with history and memories. And the building of it became important; the act of building it from scratch meant that I got to start the story myself."

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