Romanticized in Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick", the historical harpooneer was indeed given a high status on whaling ships, due to their incredible physical abilities. As Melville describes, Tashtego, a Native American from the area of Martha's Vineyard known as Gay Head, was revered on the Pequod for his courage and skill with the "unerring harpoon" wielded by his "lithe snaky limbs".
Like many of my pieces, this painting is meant to emphasize the figure itself, how the body creates the act suggested through pose and gesture. The ornament or accessories to the figure are often gone, creating the feeling of a fragmented ancient piece that we must understand through bodily context.
Man with Harpoon, latex paint and graphite on raw canvas, 43 x 55", 2018
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