Io, Sumatran Rhino, is in Mid-Mod!

Io, Sumatran Rhino, is in Mid-Mod!


Good news! This is "Io,the Tormented One," named after one of Jupiter's moons and inspired by the myth of Io's unrelenting persistence in the face of strife. AND it's in the Mid Mod exhibition at Desert Art Center Gallery in Palm Springs!
Date: Feb 17 - 28, 2023
Opening Reception: Friday February 17 from 5 - 7pm
Location: Desert Art Center Gallery
Address: 550 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs CA
The exhibition is Midcentury-Modern inspired. The genre of that era that fits best with my work is Abstract Expressionism. Ta-dah!
Io, the tormented One, oil painting by Sarah Soward. Abstract Expressionist painting with a realistic but colorful Sumatran rhino in the middle.
The full name of the piece is, "Io, the tormented One," because her story is *harsh*. (More on that below.) It's the reason I chose a Sumatran rhino for the painting and not any other species. The story of the Sumatran rhinos is one of pretty intense struggle. This is why there's such a Kandinsky-like tumult of color and texture surrounding the rhino who is pushing through the chaos and more. The rhino pushes through in the center because Sumatran rhinos are enduring in the face extreme hardships.
So. Let's focus on the unique shape of this rhino's face. Let's adore it for it's petite double horns. Let's be excited that due to their bone structure, most of them look perpetualy surprised. Most of all, though, let's be effing thrilled that they are the only rhino that is *hairy*.
Sumatran rhinos are unique even among rhino species.

This painting is my reminder to keep going.

More about the painting

The paint on this one is thick and deeply textured in places. The rhinoceros featured in this is a member of the Sumatran rhino species. They are the most unique-looking all rhino species. Their two horns are generally short and small; their prehensile upper lip is pronounced; and they are sometimes so hairy that they look furry.

Io the Tormented is part of my Rhino Moons series. It's a subset of paintings that belong to my larger series, Wandering Stars, that focuses on portraying cosmic bodies and the entities they are named after in the guise of wildlife.

This story is complicated. The short version is that Jupiter can't control himself. His desires negatively impacted the relationship between his wife, Juno, and Io. Jupiter transformed Io into a white cow to hide her. Juno wasn't fooled. Instead of punishing her husband, she cursed Io to an eternity of torment from a gadfly.

The perk here is in Io's persistence and unwillingness to give up. Eventually, Io was freed from her gadfly curse and lived out the rest of her days in peace and happiness. She made it through all the noise and suffering to something better.


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