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Javelina Pattern by Andrew Denman <Back to Thumbnails "A Family Affair"
48 x 48"
Acrylic on Cradled Board

How to Buy, General Information

This piece is one of a very few large pieces I have done in my “Pattern Series,” and represents the culmination of that body of work. By housing common animals in this Pop-Art-Inspired context, I hope to recontextualize them, drawing attention to, in fact championing, those animals that we see so often as to overlook. Javelinas, also known as Collared Peccaries, may not be a ubiquitous part of the daily landscape elsewhere in the country, but here in the Sonoran Desert, they are a common sight. They travel through the desert in herds ranging from a dozen individuals to groups of fifty or more, munching on prickly pear and other desert plants, and digging for roots or any other source of moisture. They breed throughout the year, so they are often accompanied by varying ages of young. My favorites are the tiny newborn “reds,” so-called because they have more reddish-brown hair than the typically grey-brown adults. Reds travel close to their mother, often running between her legs for safety and to stay in the shade during the heat of the day.

Like Coyotes, they are most active at dawn or dusk, though one can encounter them at any time. I chose to portray the Javelina against a velvety, dark, desaturated red-violet background to suggest the soft edged glow of a red-sky-night. I decided to make pink a significant element of the colorful, abstraction-filled silhouettes as a humorous nod to the association between the color pink and pigs. Javelina are actually not pigs at all; they are in their very own genus, but are actually more closely taxonomically related to rodents than to pigs, despite the visual similarities at first glance.

In addition to the abstract patterns, in which I favored hard lines to allude to the “prickliness” of the desert in general, I have also made some nods to the natural history of the coyote. I’ve repeated a prickly pear cactus pattern several times because the fruits are among the javelina’s favorite food. I’ve also suggested their environment with two landscapes capturing the Sonoran Desert. Using these silhouettes as a window into a landscape is a newer iteration of the pattern format, and I am enjoying how it helps contextualize the animals (without disrupting the recontextualization the overall image represents). Both landscapes capture views of the Catalina Mountains from different vantage points in Tucson, one from just off West Anklam Road, the other from Craycroft between River and Sunrise.

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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