vakras com logo

top grsphic

flightless Pyrrhic victory. oil. 1997. © demetrios vakras

"I oscillate between deliberate symbolism and incongruous juxtapositions. The juxtapositions are suggested by visual cues; ie, a portion of a mechanical device might have a similar appearance to a skeletal part, to which I might then append a human form. My paintings tend to be largely, though not always, symbolic." (p. 21 Humanist Transhumanist Raymond & Vakras - Symbolism Surrealism Fantastic Art. ISBN 9780646521886)

This image is one of those images in which appear incongruous juxtapositions without symbolic meaning. The figure's legs, which are compiled from an animal's skull (the skull of a fox), are clamped onto an engine which itself is part skull. The figure's arms too are compiled from animal skulls (mouse skulls), and are raised in the manner of wings attempting flight. This figure, clamped onto an engine and with useless wings which cannot possibly fulfil their implied function, suggested the title. The title in this instance thus is an afterthought.

As with other images of mine, I had drawn a figure without a background. The crumbling building with its broken dome which I used as a background for this painting is from Bosch's Temptation of St. Anthony (left).

Another version of this work with the title emended, Flightless Kadmean Victory: contra Bosch, is intended for 2010, in which a similar figure is situated within the ruins of Byzantine and Armenian structures in which the elements are specifically chosen as a rebuttal to Bosch.