The feathers are just that... feathers, held in place- as Icarus's were- by big heavy droplets of wax.
The entire painting is covered in a light coat of pure beeswax, which not only preserves the paint, but also gives it a very gritty look.
Just like your expensive deconstructed jeans, this painting has many flaws, which was my intention. They could easily be "fixed" but it would take away from the overall feel of the piece. This is one of my favorite things I've ever created.