Heroes and Villains of the Greek - Josh Penaluna

My theme is that of famous grecian heroes and villains or monsters. I decided to stick with three dimensional images such as statues and painted objects that were three dimensional in nature. Heroes and their counterparts have always held my fascination because we face evil on a regular basis in smaller forms, so reminders of those who stood before it and triumphed is something that we need as a people to help us overcome.

This is a wine cup that has the painted image of Bellerophon and his pegasus fighting the legendary monster, the Chimera. The use of space is intriguing in this piece because he uses so much in such a tiny cup. He used the two beasts to frame the hero as they battle while the Bellerophon is in the center and lining up for his final blow. There is no depth to the image. The artist, as most of this style, kept it very two dimensional yet did a great job in showing the story in it's most epic moment.
This is a pot that depicts the tale of Theseus when he entered into the labyrinth and slayed the minotaur that lived that and had tormented Athens for so long. In the center is Theseus with the minotaur by the horns, is surrounded by people who are praising him for liberating them.
Again, we see Theseus in his epic battle between himself and the ruthless minotaur. This image, however, is a fully three dimensional portray of the struggle. See how Theseus is placed in a dominant position over his opponent, showing a soon victory. This element provides the piece with movement.
Actaeon was a famous hunter and hero in Greek mythology. He was taught his skill of the bow by the centaur Chiron. He took actions that angered the Goddess Artemis so she turned him into a stag for his own hunting dogs to devour. Below shows that final scene where he is part man and part animal, being leapt upon by his own animals. The movement in the piece can be seen in the way he is leaning forward, trying to escape the snapping jaws.
This is an interesting piece. The belief that this is Aeneas is more profound than it being Achilles since Achilles was never closely connected to the goddess Aphrodite (Venus in Rome). This statue shows Aphrodite cradling her son in her arms. He seems almost lifeless and is centered as the focal point with his mother surrounding him with, what seems to be, whiffs of heavenly smoke. This could be his final hour and she is summoning him home, or maybe she is bringing him to earth to begin.
Below is a Lekythos, which was used to store oil. The image depicted on it is of Odyssesus clinging to the under belly of a sheep in order to escape Polyphemus. The entire pot is a darker black that the artist also used to fill in the sheets body. I believe that this was done in order to allow Odyssesus to stand out as the obvious focal point of the piece.
Odyssesys was a famous Greek hero who had many tales that were told in Homers famous story "The Odyssey". Odysseys was a Greek king of Ithaca. This bust of his image takes much attention to portraying him in a regal fashion. The eyes are not filled in and no expression is revealed on his face, showing him a in a stoic fashion which allows the observer to really stare into it and wonder what he's thinking.
Achilles was the famous Grecian Hero who helped bring down the walls of Troy. Legend has it that he was dipped into the river Styx by his mother by his heel, every piece of him that was submerged became hard as steel. This bust shows just the head of the Hero. His eyes are blank, like most Grecian statue styles. Looking closely, you can see the sculptor had perfect balance in the realism of the head. Yet certain detail, like the eyes, leave the emotion open to perspective.
The Epic Hero Perseus and his most famous story, the slaying of the gorgon Medusa. This action pose uses a great sense of balance and movement. The two focal points being the monster and the hero in his victorious pose as he prepares his finishing strike. The emotion is truly seen in Medusa's face as she screams in terror in his final moments.
Another image of Perseus in his final moments of victory. This is a pose of the Hero after he has already struck the final blow. The use of proportion is interesting in this piece because it appears that Perseus is much larger than his foe, nearly doubling her size in scale. This, I believe, the artist did on purpose to symbolize his victory.
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