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Ken West

Lifeguard One (Prometheus and Dolos)

Lifeguard One (Prometheus and Dolos)

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Prometheus, the progenitor of Humanity, wears a lifeguard uniform, wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Above him is Dolos, the ancient spirit of trickery and guile, portrayed here as a common gull. Though Dolos was an apprentice to Prometheus, West’s painting points to the tension of power between the god and the trickster, and the gull’s direct eye contact with the viewer creates a complicity between parties, as if to say “Prometheus has no idea what I have in store for him” but now you do. Though Prometheus was most well-known for gifting fire to humanity, Zeus punished him with a tortuous cycle of immortal irony ­­­-- chained to a rock and preyed on by an eagle every day, only to regenerate and suffer the same fate over and over again. And while the Titan is stagnant, Dolos is free to bear witness to the suffering that humanity was exposed to in retaliation to Prometheus’ act of generosity.

60 x 40 inches

oil on canvas

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