Mario Merz wrote, in 1982:
To the animals!
The snail in the darkness of the world continues its ritual house.
The animals are here and the terrible stench of their bodies.
Their fur is not representable; as grass is furry, the animal is furry.
Only the fleeting and distant Orient has represented animal fur and vegetable fur, making them likable enough.
Western man is frightened by fur today.
See how far the abstraction of oil paint and melted bronze is from the dark will to exist, which is given off by the skin of the horse and the slow movement of the sweet muscles of the shark.
Western man has wanted to elude the problem of coexistence with animals by creating art with the totemic symbol of enmity with them.
No use repeating this eternal totem. With oil paints and cat bronze this enmity has reached the perfect joy of man’s ability to create abstract forms imitating the furless outlines of animals.
Yet how much fur there is on the animals of Lascaux.
Only Leonardo da Vinci, after maniacal dialogues and nightmares with the nature of animals, did drawings that brought animals to light.
(quoted for Marianne!)