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Raven by Andrew Denman <Back to Thumbnails "String Theory #18: Raven"
24 x 18"
Acrylic on Cradled Board

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With symbolic relevance across numerous cultures, intelligent and entertaining behaviors, and constant visibility even in urban environments, ravens are deservedly ubiquitous in wildlife art, but that makes it all the more of a challenge to say something new. My interest here was showcasing the subject in a non-objective context. The raven’s oil-black feathers allowed me to be extremely fanciful with my color palette, and the geometric abstraction nicely echoes his quick, halting movements. This is the eighteenth entry in my “String Theory” series.

On a conceptual level, the contrast between illusionistic imagery and flat decorative treatments has been at the core of my work for nearly twenty years, owing largely to my study of modern art, so it should come as no surprise that an image of birds essentially flying into a Barnett Newman painting and perching on the stripes came into my head like a thunderbolt. Simply by virtue of their proximity to more descriptive elements like the birds, otherwise completely flat areas of color become alive and animate in three-dimensional space. Of course, the concept evolved well past this initial point of inspiration to become something entirely new and very much my own. These pieces, cheekily titled “String Theory,” suggest the dislocation of birds from their natural environments and their adaptiveness to the urban and suburban habitats we have made (something which is especially true of corvids like Ravens, Crows, and Blackbirds). These colorful stripes are not meant to “describe” anything as mundane as a fence posts, branches, or bird feeders; rather they become their own non-objective environments, beautiful, evocative, and otherworldly.

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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