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Costa's Hummingbird by Andrew Denman <Back to Thumbnails "String Theory #20: Apex"
12 x 6"
Acrylic & 23kt Gold Leaf on Cradled Board
Costa's Hummingbird


This piece is available from The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, AZ, as part of the "Vanishing Circles" Exhibition, which celebrates artists featured in the museum's permanent collection, from May 15th through August 15th, 2021. Visit the museum online by clicking HERE

How to Buy, General Information

The 20th piece in my “String Theory” series, this piece features the glorious Costa’s Hummingbird, my favorite native hummer here in Arizona. The nearly florescent violet of the male looks almost unreal, especially in our hot, dry, desert landscape. The use of the precious metal leaf serves to highlight the jewel-like quality of the bird, as do the luminous, candy-colored panels carved out by the strong diagonal lines on which it perches.

On a conceptual level, the contrast between illusionistic imagery and flat decorative treatments has been at the core of my work for nearly twenty years, owing largely to my study of modern art, so it should come as no surprise that an image of birds essentially flying into a Barnett Newman painting and perching on the stripes came into my head like a thunderbolt. Simply by virtue of their proximity to more descriptive elements like the birds, otherwise completely flat areas of color become alive and animate in three-dimensional space. Of course, the concept evolved well past this initial point of inspiration to become something entirely new and very much my own. These pieces, cheekily titled “String Theory,” suggest the dislocation of birds from their natural environments and their adaptiveness to the urban and suburban habitats we have made. These colorful stripes are not meant to “describe” anything as mundane as a fence posts, branches, or bird feeders; rather they become their own non-objective environments, beautiful, evocative, and otherworldly.

Welcome to the online home for artwork by Andrew Denman, an Arizona–based, internationally recognized, award-winning contemporary wildlife artist. Denman primarily paints wildlife and animal subjects in a unique, hallmark style combining hyper-realism with stylization and abstraction. His dynamic and original acrylic paintings can be found in museum collections on two continents and in numerous private collections in the USA and abroad. His clear voice, unique vision, and commitment to constant artistic experimentation have positioned him on the forefront of an artistic vanguard of the best contemporary wildlife and animal painters working today.
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