The artist pulls inspiration from all sorts of varied fauna, from donkeys to tigers, and frequently uses bold and bizarre colour palettes to bring out the beauty he sees in them.
This piece, however, goes a little further with its subject matter, bringing it past the point of being merely another iteration of Marc’s enthrallment with the animal kingdom. Its dream-like aesthetic elevates the creatures it depicts to an ethereal, otherworldly level.
This painting’s eye-catching angular shapes and vivid colours really bring out the whimsy of the fantastical subject matter, which is both deceptively normal-looking and fascinatingly complex.
The animals depicted cannot be named as any one specific species – rather, they combine aspects and suggestions of many different animals, such as moose, buffalo, antelopes, cats, foxes, and even dragons.
This non-specificity gives the viewer pause, and forces them to give the work another look to try to fully comprehend what is in front of them. It is impossible to come to a definitive answer to this question, which makes the painting perpetually interesting to look at and contemplate.
The soft, streaky brush strokes create a calm and wondrous atmosphere that removes the viewer from their own reality. Instead, they are transported to a mystical place where the kind of hybridized animals depicted seem wholly plausible.
The creatures stand out from their environment due to their bold orange and brown colours on the soft blue background, but also feel part of it due to the lack of harsh dividing lines. The slightly transparent look of many parts of the painting only adds to this impression.
Overall, this work has a tranquil beauty to it that makes it stand out from the rest of Marc’s impressive yet visually taxing oeuvre.