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Black Rhino by Andrew Denman
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12 x 24" Acrylic on Cradled Board
Black Rhino

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“Dominion” is the second painting I’ve completed based on my recent experiences in East Africa, and something of an atypical piece for me. I spent nearly a month in Kenya last December , and though I was primarily excited about my introduction to the birds of East Africa, I was surprised by what an impression this black rhino made on me. There is something profoundly surreal about seeing an animal as familiar, as iconic, an as evocative of one’s childhood, “adventure novel conjuring” of Africa as a rhinoceros in the wild. I came across this fellow within about five minutes of entering Lake Nakuru National Park from the Enderit Gate, lumbering along a rise in the low, raking, pink light of dawn with the rugged slope of Lion Hill in the background. Generally when I am inspired to paint a subject, it is some detail of color, light, texture, or pattern which caches my eye, which is why I often disassociate an animal subject from its environment, or at least allow those aspects of the experience less central to my motivation to paint to fade out into areas more interpretive than descriptive. In this case, however, the entire experience of seeing this primordial animal in its natural habitat was so magical, that when I began sketching out ideas for a composition, it was impossible for me to isolate any one element of that experience from the others. Certainly, my hallmark style still applies, and I have allowed both for my stylization and a keener focus on the rhino itself to come I into play, but the effect is certainly subtler than in much of my work, and the end result is a piece that, I hope, transports the viewer into the same awed state I felt upon my first introduction to a wild rhinoceros.

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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