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The Centaur's Shirt


The Centaur's Shirt Painting

David Holcomb

United States

Painting, Acrylic on Wood

Size: 16 W x 16 H x 0.3 D in

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About The Artwork

"The Centaur's Shirt", 2015 - acrylic, cut paper and metal button on fiberboard, 40 x 40 cm. The title comes from the Greek myth describing the death of Herakles (Hercules), in which the beautiful but foolish wife of the hero accepts a gift for her unfaithful husband: a shirt washed in the blood of a dying centaur. She has been told that the gift will prevent Herakles from turning to other women, but it fulfils its promise by killing him. Dramatists and poets have used the myth for centuries as a lesson about the dangers of accepting deceptively simple solutions to complex problems. Cut paper, including slices of book pages, are layered with acrylic in black, blue, yellow and white and sanded down, then a pattern of fine lines in thinned acrylic is used to create a fluid ribbon shape, threaded into and around the paper forms. A small gold and black metal button suggests the sun, or perhaps an eye. The area of black in the lower left was built up by successive layers of red, blue-gray, orange, yellow, iron-oxide red, and dark gray, each layer scraped with a wire brush when dry, before receiving the next layer, to create a matte blue-black surface contrasting with the pale forms in the rest of the painting. This picture is ready to hang; signed and dated both front and back, with the title on the back.

Details & Dimensions

Painting:Acrylic on Wood

Original:One-of-a-kind Artwork

Size:16 W x 16 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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