Bighorn Ram 302 is a powerful image that shows off the namesake of the Bighorn Mountain Range in northern Wyoming. The Bighorn sheep originally crossed into North America over the Bering Land Bridge from Siberia. This sparked the population in North America to peak in the millions, and thus the Bighorn sheep entered into the mythology of Native Americas. However, by 1900, the population had crashed to several thousand. Through reintroductions, national parks, reduced hunting, and a decrease in domesticated sheep, the Bighorn was able to make a comeback. The animal continues to be an iconic image for many Native populations. It is known as the official mascot for the Arizona Boy Scouts.
Bighorn Ram 302 by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
In 1983, Warhol was commissioned by his friend and publisher Ron Feldman and his wife Freyda to create this series. Both Freyda and Ronald were celebrated political activists who were very active philanthropists. In 1983, they asked Warhol to create a portfolio of ten endangered species to raise environmental consciousness. Warhol fondly referred to this series as his “animals in makeup,” given the bold pop colors he uses to portray the animals as larger than life, which is exemplified in Bighorn Ram 302.