Thursday, August 23, 2012

:: harpies, not herpes ::

its easy to confuse a harpy with a siren. in greek mythology, they are the creepy bird-ladies who snatch poor phineus' food every time he tries to quell his hunger (see black and white still from one of my favorite movies, jason and the argonauts). sirens however, have also been seen and described as bird-bodied women.  oddly, in greek mythology sirens werent bird ladies at all-- this version of the sirens was based off a roman confusion with the harpy creature. originally, sirens were just devious femme fatale types who 
enticed sailors with their beautiful voices. 
 aside from historical inaccuracies, ive always loved the way jw waterhouse painted the odysseus and the sirens (see color oil painting above).  even as a young kid, i thought that painting was so eerie and so frightening.

both the harpies in jason and the argonauts and the sirens in jw waterhouse's painting were big inspirations for how i chose to draw harpies. because they are food-snatchers, i wanted them to look like vultures. there isnt really anything homogeneous about slapping a woman's head on a bird body, but in a way it just works. probably cuz weve seen it so many times before. in any case, enjoy.

5 comments:

Norman Hundert said...

lol...great!
Looks klike the Aunts of Tweety...;-)
Very cool..

Priscilla Wong said...

You so inspiring :)

JJ said...

VULTURES EAT THE SNITCHES , THATS THAT SHIT TOM LEMB DON'T LIKE !/!

http://www.YOUTUBE.com/watch?v=2WcRXJ4piHg

BE A VULTURE ! ENT THE BITCHES AND SNITCHES !!!/!!!

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

-JAPANESE JUNKYARD DOG ACTION JACKKKK !/!!
KEEP THAT SHIT SPARTAN 300- THREE HUNDA !/!

Rhya Ajam said...

This is so interesting. I've really been wanting a siren tattoo for its representation of female sexuality; My initial thought was that I wanted the siren that was more fish/mermaid like with the two tails. However, starbucks is so popular that I do not want to carry that logo around on my body. I am wondering now though, if I should have a bird siren, instead of the fish one. or maybe find a way to combine both... Thanks, also your artwork is amazing.

Stephen Nicodemus said...

I like!