The underlying theme I have attempted to capture here is the harmony of dancers performing gracefully in well-timed unison. Indeed, the study and discipline required to perfect choreography of this kind is also something I admire greatly and pay tribute to through these pictures.
I originally decided to draw the Cambodian Apsara Dancer to complement my other drawing of a Spanish Flamenco Dancer (which is also appears on my blog). I was particularly interested in contrasting imagery as well as the style of movement exhibited by each dance, from the passionate whirling, stamping and clapping of the Flamenco to the graceful, elegantly timed movements of the classical Apsara dancer.
The difference in the style of dance and indeed the culture, from which they are derived, could not be more apparent yet each performance is a beautiful display of human movement and expression. For me, such refined cultural creativity represents the very best in human nature.
A popular theme, certainly in western art is the story of the wars in heaven, which we now identify with the origins of the devil. Originally a biblical tale and popularized by John Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost”, the expulsion of Lucifer and his followers from heaven has been a major influence on western art and literature for centuries. Indeed, the contemporary imaginings of the devil as being a suited gentleman of immaculate taste and infinite intelligence have been widely conveyed through film, music and literature in recent decades.
This piece is actually an adaptation of a painting by Joel Rea called “Transcend Blue III”, depicting a suited man in freefall. It is a very dramatic picture and reminded me of Paradise Lost when I first saw it. I followed this line of thought by adding wings to the man to convey the fallen angel theme while keeping the suit would give the subject a contemporary look.