Fight the lion

by Evangeline Gallagher

I’m very inspired by myths, folktales, and urban legends, and often incorporate imagery from these types of sources into my work. I like interpreting pre-existing symbols and stories in my style. The inspiration for some of my favorite illustrations I make comes from leafing through books, poking around in public domain archives, and researching art history and myths online. The style I work in is also partially rooted in more traditional art forms such as tattooing and relief printmaking.

This painting is based on the Nemean lion, a monster from Greek mythology with impenetrable fur, which could not be killed by any mortal weapons. The lion was eventually strangled by the hero Hercules as part of his Twelve Labours. The Hercules figure in my painting, grappling with a version of the Nemean lion, is a character that I imagine might be one of my neighbors or friends in the city where I live – someone facing seemingly insurmountable struggle but rising to meet the challenge. He will eventually emerge victorious in the face of adversity.

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