The Trickster

Andrew Denman
Limited Edition Print
Giclée Canvas
W x H inches
Limited Edition of 75 S/N

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Artwork Description

In this piece, one of my favorite birds, the raven, struts and frets across the stage. Ravens are the omnipresent tricksters and scavengers, but transformed into a densely repetitive background pattern one can’t help but be reminded of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, while the luminous blue and red palette also suggests something ineffably American. Symbolically, ravens can be bringers of good or bad luck, positive or dreadful tidings, but whichever your view, they are undeniably entertaining. That certainly comes across here with a distinct pop-art vibe, and the marching rows of stridently colorful birds standing in for Andy Warhol’s iconic soup cans.

This is another piece in my recent “Pattern” series. By taking an animal and reducing it to a silhouetted, stamp-like form, and repeating that shape to create a background pattern, the animal subject is pitted against a mass-produced image of itself. In most cases, the effect is humorous, evoking the animal’s ubiquity, life cycle, or reproductive capacity. In all cases, this systematization of a natural shape highlights the significance of the animal in human life and culture.

Nature appears chaotic to us, but it is actually highly organized in its own way. It is our desire to control and conquer, arising from the innately human need for structure, that causes us to project our own artificial categories, our own systems of naming and organizing, onto the plants and animals around us. My patterns series seeks to explore this phenomenon in a fun and playful manner, re-contextualizing wildlife into a world of flat shapes, repeated imagery, brand logos, and ones and zeros, searching for old truths in a new world. As Gertrude Stein once wrote, “There is no such thing as repetition. Only insistence.”