Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Daedalus by Randall Good

This is Daedalus mourning the death of his son, Icarus (see previous post). This is the second watercolor I acquired from Randall Good's mythology series. I feel very fortunate to have it because it complements the Icarus work so well. Anyone who knows this myth should be struck by the tragedy of this story. To understand the anguish here, one must understand what has just occurred. Daedalus has managed to reach ground safely, however his son has not. I think Randall has expressed this tragedy/victory most effectively in the compositional elements of this piece. While the figure's body language very clearly reflects the sorrow this father feels, the upstretched wing expresses his victory in making a successful escape. I'm glad Randall used this element. The upstretched wing would have been a familiar symbol to the Greeks. It meant victory, as seen in the Athena Nike (or Athena of Samothrace). A life-size Athena Nike stood in the palm of the colossal Zeus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. We see it today on the tops of athletic trophies, as well as a stylized wing striping the side of Nike sneakers. This is also a watercolor study for a much larger work. In that piece, Randall juxtaposes an intense solar disk being bisected by the point of the upstretched wing. The counterpoint of the organic figure combined with the precise geometry of the sun's circle adds a poignant dimension to that work. Please visit the Blue Moon Art Gallery to see it. Their link is posted in my sidebar.

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