The Tyrant

Original Artwork by Andrew Denman

The Tyrant

Andrew Denman
Original Artwork
Acrylic on Cradled Board
12 × 16 in


Artwork Description

“During a trip to Trinidad’s Aripo Savannah, one of the first birds to catch my eye in the dry, parched landscape was the White-Headed Marsh Tyrant.  I spotted this small flycatcher relative in a dry field not far from a water treatment facility, where his bold, black-and-white color pattern made him stand out dramatically even from a considerable distance.  As their name suggests, Tyrants are quite territorial, but I found this bird’s oversized head, jaunty crest, and big black eyes more comical than threatening…but then I’m not a Marsh Tyrant.  One must be a king, or in a similar position of leadership, before one can be a tyrant, so I imagined a background that suggested a suit of playing cards; this is the King of Diamonds, and the regimentation of the diamond pattern, the hardness of the contrast, and the lance-like abstraction of the branch on which he perches all suggest the harshness and severity of his reign.”

– Andrew Denman