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"Tiny Totem #5: Stacked Nuthatches"
12 x 6"
Acrylic on Cradled Board2017
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This is the fifth painting in my ongoing “Tiny Totem” series. These pieces are small, reductive versions of my larger “Totem” series, intended to explore similar concepts distilled into the barest essentials. Modern reinterpretations of the Native American Totem Poles of the Pacific Northwest, these pieces offer impossible arrangements of common animals and birds. Isolated from their natural environments and portrayed in a whimsical, tension-filled, and surreal context, the viewer is challenged to reconsider the subjects in a new light. Native Americans traditionally used animals as potent symbols for their own human talents, frailties, fears, and desires, and despite the distance we have placed between ourselves and the natural world today, animals still play just as significant a role in our daily lives, from logos to add campaigns. These pieces ask the viewer to explore what wildlife means in today’s world, to consider the fragile balance we strike in our own lives between man and beast, and to ponder the plight of a natural world teetering on collapse.
In “Tiny Totem #5," nuthatches perch atop each other in a delightful jumble that still manages to feel, atop a non-descript plinth, more like an artifact than an actual occurrence. Red-breasted nuthatches were a frequent visitor to the birdfeeder outside my bedroom window when I was a child, and they still bring a smile to my face with their acrobatics, however much I may have taken liberties with them here!
Welcome to the online home for artwork by Andrew Denman, a California –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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