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Harris Hawk Totem by Andrew Denman <Back to Thumbnails "Totem #2: Stacked Harris Hawks"
36 x 24"
Acrylic on Cradled Board


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This is the second in my ongoing “Totem” series. Modern reinterpretations of the Native American Totem Poles of the Pacific Northwest, these pieces offer unexpected arrangements of common animals and birds. Native Americans traditionally used animals as potent symbols for their own human talents, frailties, fears, and desires, and despite the distance we have placed between ourselves and the natural world today, animals still play just as significant a role in our daily lives, from logos to add campaigns. These pieces ask the viewer to explore what wildlife means in today’s world, to consider the fragile balance we strike in our own lives between man and beast, and to ponder the plight of a natural world teetering on collapse.

I was inspired to create this particular piece by my time in the American Southwest, especially Tucson, where the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum offers an amazing air show staring five of these stunning raptors. Interestingly, Harris Hawks actually do sometimes perch on each other’s backs in the wild in numbers up to four birds, making this the only example of my Totem series that could possibly occur in nature. A favorite of falconers, I’ve also had the opportunity to observe glove-trained Harris Hawks in the UK. I’ve spent time with several ambassador birds at local wildlife rescues and educational facilities, but I have yet to see one in the wild.

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.
All artwork and text featured on this page and throughout this website is protected by international copyright laws. Use of these images or text is prohibited without the express written permission of Andrew Denman.