Artistry for the brave
July 9th, 2018
Puget Sound Horse Racing expresses the bravery of the jockey with PNW imagery. It is an ephemeral triptych oil painting.
In this painting, the jockey’s face shows focus, skill and bravery. Unlike other equestrian sports, horse racing requires jockeys to balance out of the way of the horses, perched on their toes at 40mph.
Horse racing can be dangerous –similar to bodies of water. The artist, Hilma Josal, expresses this with an ominous Sea God Poseidon painted below and Mount Rainier, our local volcano, painted above.
One may notice that the jockey above looks like the only person on rippling zebra-like water, but as the viewer’s eyes wander down the canvas below the water-line, there turns out to be many horse legs moving in beams of sea-light revealing a tight race.
The composition of the oil painting has been planned to insinuate a connectedness between the scene above and below the Puget Sound. For example, the posture and coloring of the horse and sea horses compliment each other. The reason there are three sea horses in this painting is to balance the three sets of racing horses to the left as well as the rectangular length of the Thoroughbred above. Poseidon’s leg and the horse’s front leg are in a matching pose. Poseidon’s spear has been lengthened and the jockey’s crop is breaking correct form to match the triton. Another interesting note is that the legs of the Thoroughbred are visible through Poseidon’s ghost-like appearance.
As a tribute to Salish culture and the ancestors of the Puget Sound, below the water is a petroglyph the artist, Hilma, grew up beside in Victor, WA.
Can you find a Sea Biscuit as a nod to the great racehorse?
Fun fact: Hilma used a leaf blower to push the paint around and create the underwater-effect.