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The Broken Queen
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The Broken Queen Drawing

David Holcomb

United States

Drawing, Ink on Wood

Size: 12 W x 12 H x 0.3 D in

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About The Artwork

"The Broken Queen", 2015 - acrylic, ink, white pastel on fiberboard, 30 x 30 cm. A butterfly (a female of the species Danaus plexippus, the Monarch Butterfly) appears to the viewer as though in a fragmented mirror, the graceful and complex pattern of the wings broken into facets and isolated pieces. This drawing is part of a series in which each picture refers to a playing card. The female Monarch butterfly has been chosen to represent the Queen (like the crow used for the Jack in "Blackjack" or the snake as the King in "The Long King") partly for its visual interest, but also for the subtext that is implied by the specific image as it occurs in dream analysis and in the writings of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. The visual style reflects the fragmentation of space typical of cubism or the prismatic Expressionism of Lyonel Feininger, but the detailed crosshatch technique also evokes the engravings of M. C. Escher. To create this image, an MDF panel is sealed, gessoed (in white) and sanded, then scrubbed lightly with black latex enamel and sanded again to create a textured and uneven surface in gray and white. A geometric framework of quadrilaterals and lines is sketched on this surface in soft charcoal, the shapes distributed in such as way as to provide an overall focus and flow to the picture. The main subject -- in this case, the butterfly -- is then drawn into this structural scaffolding, breaking and folding the form into the lines and shapes of the gridwork. Fine crosshatching with a dip pen in either black or white is used to sharpen and define the individual fragmented shapes while at the same time creating illusory effects of light and shadow that guide the eye through the picture, after which the traces of the original rough sketch are carefully erased. After drying for several days the picture is sprayed very lightly with a UV-resistant matte acrylic polymer varnish. This picture is signed and dated both front and back, with the title on the back.

Details & Dimensions

Drawing:Ink on Wood

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:12 W x 12 H x 0.3 D in

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Born in Montgomery, Alabama, and raised in the rural Appalachian foothills of the northeastern part of the state, my childhood was surrounded by the natural world, the rigid social and cultural traditions of the deep South, the distant rumblings of 1960's social changes, and the panoramas of human existence revealed to me through reading, music and art. Most of my adult life has been spent working as a graphic designer in Birmingham, South Florida, and Dallas -- primarily in the television industry -- where I was immersed yet another hybrid universe, a fun-house world of ego, transitory celebrity, and social manipulation. These days I live and work in a cabin on the edge of the Ozark National Forest in northwest Arkansas, decompressing.

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