Keep Searching, Winkie
“Who doesn’t love monkeys?” asks artist Andrew Denman. “This little fellow captured my heart one day on a trip to the San Francisco Zoo. Anyone who has ever named a pet is guilty of anthropomorphization and in some wildlife paintings, such sentiment creeps subconsciously into the artist’s portrayal of the anatomy. My goal is to not let my feelings of identification with an animal subject distort the accuracy of my representation, but I’m not at all above allowing emotion to shine through in the pose or expression I select or the title of the piece.
“In this case, the squirrel monkey’s expression was so plaintive that I began to imagine a whole mythology surrounding him. For reasons I’ll never understand, his name became Winkie and I pictured him in a little bellhop uniform, separated from his old organ grinder, wandering dark city streets awash in neon, casting his eyes to the heavens, searching for a place to belong. We find him here, perhaps lit by the first warm rays of the morning sun, eager for the hopefulness of a new day.”