Here are a couple visual examples of Toucans in art! Let’s explore how they’re portrayed, shall we?
Toucan Sam is a cultural object, in this case used for his “tropical” implications. In this case he is rendered as humerus and playful, and, at the same time he is given an Australian accent to accentuate his “exotic” connection. The hope is that consumers will make the connection between brightly-colored birds, which are from topical locations, and fruit, which is from a tropical location. To provide a second layer of connection t, he is given coloring on his beak that matches the loop shape of the cereal he represents
The toucan’s ability to fly and majestic form is the triggers for this tattoo. The form is highly stylized to look majestic and serious, proper for a visual incarnation as “Messenger of the gods”. By showing the animal in profile, and only showing the most recognizable features, the tattoo keeps the sacred comfortably in the realm of symbolic and believable. As Terry Pratchett says, “Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isn’t believing. It’s [Seeing is] where belief stops, because it isn’t needed any more.”
This elegant and playful peice represents a minimalist toucan. The streamlined body is played up, as is the modernist colors. While there is no cultural subtext obvious, the owner of a piece like this has an obvious point to make: I am modern and have an up-to-date sensibility. I have connections to an exotic local where perhaps I visit sometimes. I am a little playful, since this isn’t the type of piece someone who was insecure in their social position would show off.