The Bird Catcher by Ali Hammad

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Ali Hammad

The Bird Catcher


121.92 x 90.17 cm | 48 x 35 1/2 in

Oil on linen

  • Third Place ($500 Cash Award) / Figurative

“The model in the painting, The Bird Catcher, is my friend from Africa. The pigeon he is holding in his hand was rescued from a street, almost dying because of heat and thirst. He brought it into my studio where he thought we could take care of him and also, I might draw and paint it. The bird after some rest and care felt better and started to flutter its wings. Before we thought to free the bird again, I decided to paint my friend with it, a heroic character with this fine athletic body. Luckily, I had a canvas stretched and I could quickly draw with the raw umber paint. The initial sketch gave a clear idea about the visual concept and the direction the picture was going to move towards. Obviously, the bird was the first thing I wanted to record the maximum reference for. So, I did several sketches and took a few photos of it and set the bird free. I painted this artwork to give tribute to this hero, who saved the life of this bird.” – Ali Hammad