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Saw Whet Owl by Andrew Denman <Back to Thumbnails "Modern Camouflage IV"
10 x 10"
Acrylic on Cradled Board, 2015
Saw Whet Owl
How to buy
This is the fourth offering in my “Modern Camouflage” series, a group of paintings exploring not simply my love of owls, but the art historical struggle between the treatment of the canvas in the Renaissance-inspired, “illusionistic” manner, as a space the viewer can imagine himself stepping into, or as a flat surface to be decorated. It may seem awkward that the illusionistically painted Saw Whet owl’s talons seem to be curving around a perch even though they are “gripping” a two-dimensional sweep of background pattern, but this tension is precisely the point. The “Modern Camouflage” Series is about the contrast between patterns in nature and man-made patterns, so this very tension is an entirely integral expression of the piece’s conceptual underpinnings. Far from an attempt to really “hide” the subject in the painting, these pieces are a celebration of the mimetic nature of abstraction, the simple fact that all inorganic patterns have, at their core, organic roots. And of course, it doesn’t hurt to make the point with a subject as painfully adorable as a Saw Whet Owl, a bird which, despite its comical appearance, is a skilled and fearsome predator.

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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