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Icarus Drawing by Andrew Denman
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"Icarus Fallen"
15.75 x 23.75" Graphite & Nero Pencil on Watercolor Board
Icarus, Male Figure

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Iíve been fascinated with mythology, particularly Greek mythology, since my teenage years, and Iíve always found the Icarus story to be among the most potent and relatable of those stories. As an artist, my primary subject matter has long been birds, but Iíve explored figurative work now and again for years, and the Icarus myth inspired me as an opportunity to meld figure and feather in a context as full of graphic and visual possibilities as symbolic and emotional import.

In the final piece, ďIcarus Fallen,Ē we see find Icarus collapsed to the ground, perhaps washed onto the beach after his plummet into the ocean. The setting is deliberately minimal and the position of the body, though suggesting the slackness of death, is also perhaps the most theatrical arrangement of any of these compositions. Even in death, Icarus exhibits his youthful beauty. His wings, which melt to nothing in the actual story, still appear intact, though flaccid, and the viewer is presented with an image that is not only the culmination of the narrative, but an encapsulation of that narrative. It is this image, perhaps more than anything else, that arrests my attention. He is Icarus, symbol of manís overreaching ambition and the self-destruction such hubris promises to the brash and unreasoning. He is the fallen angel, once favored by God, but now cast from grace and denied Heaven. He is Adam, shunned from the garden to suffer in knowledge attained too late, forever after bound to the mortal coil. He is every fatherís son, desperate to prove his own metal, to strike his own way in the world amidst its perils, not the least of which is his own ignorance, foolish pride, and reckless determination. He is the dead bird one finds on the ground while out for a stroll, stiff and frozen with wings half spread, still carrying the echo of its fully animated glory -but only the echo- a reminder both poignant and brutal of the fragility of life, and the fate that we all must bear, to be brought, ultimately, down to earth.

Welcome to the online home for artwork by Andrew Denman, a California Ėbased, 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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