God created man (human) kind in His own image - that’s Christian belief. Whatever else you believe, it is difficult to argue that the Greeks invented gods in humankind’s image; a parade of richly drawn characters that reflect the nobility and indignity of humanity. The best of us and the worst us, for the gods were just as capable of petty jealousy and recrimination as their human creators, and it could be argued that the Greeks were explaining away their own frailty by imaging that even a deity might have feet of clay.
Annalise Fegan is a fine art student in the midst of creating a series of drawings that do the same thing for contemporary American society:
“This particular body of work combines my drawing style with my interest in mythology, as well as bringing in a critique of the modern world. These drawings are part of a series where I reimagined the Classic Greek pantheon, replacing figures like Zeus and Aphrodite with lesser mythological figures, such as Adikia, the goddess of injustice, and Phthonos, who represents jealousy. The purpose of this work was to create a pantheon of deities that represent what is really ‘worshipped’ in America. There is Plutus, god of wealth, Aergia, goddess of laziness, Eris, goddess of discord, among others. These figures are less well known, though clues to their characters have been incorporated into their design. Color was also chosen based on association with respective traits.”
Fegan is inspired by illustrations from children’s literature. “I was particularly fascinated with myths and fairy tales. One of my favorite painters is John William Waterhouse, an English Romantic painter, because his work features mythological figures. Several children’s book illustrators, including Jan Brett, Maurice Sendak, and Doris Burn have influenced my drawing style.”
The mix of English Romanticism and Classical Mythology that Fegan mines from Waterhouse is a curious but potentially intoxicating aesthetic with which to frame social commentary in the 21st century. It is unique for this moment, to say the least, so perhaps Fegan has already passed the first crucial hurdle in maturing as an artist.
Hometown: Stanford, Kentucky
Education: 2014 – current, BFA candidate, Drawing and Painting with a concentration in Illustration, Kentucky College of Art + Design at Spalding University, Louisville KY
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.
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