Thursday, February 16, 2012

Walls of Inspiration, and a Tale of Two Tigers

The walls of my corner of the studio are adorned with framed images featuring the work of some of my favorite artists, many of whom have influenced my work. Most are scanned from books and scaled or created to fit the desired size and look. The three top images feature Hergé, Winsor McCay, and Osamu Tezuka. Below them is one of my favorite Bauhaus posters.

Above, is an image of Joost Schmidt's famous Bauhaus Poster from 1923 I created using online sources. Any inaccuracies surely hurt the final image, however, it was my intention to produce an image that honored the original poster.

In addition to an airplane poster, given to us by our friend Kevin Mowrer, there are four (three shown) framed images featuring the work of some personal heroes from my college days. The art of Geof Darrow, Moebius (Jean Giraud), and Dave Stevens came into my life at approximately the same time, and I am fortunate to have been able to show my work to both Darrow and Stevens when I was a student. Both were very kind, and all three artists' work continues to be a source of inspiration.

Lastly, is a photo of my continued work on the two casein paintings. The figure on the left is being reworked, and has lost some of its edges and weight that I hope to return in the final. I am in the process of painting an emaciated Bengal tiger in the lower right corner. I am exploring the idea of capping its fangs with bronze orbs that would prevent it from closing its's mouth all the way. It is one of many elements that will be added to the painting in coming weeks.

In the painting on the right, the creature that was initially inspired by a Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger), but that ended up looking more like a greyhound, is being completely reworked. I am fascinated by the way in which the Thylacine was driven to extinction and the mythic quality of this carnivorous marsupial(it was one of only two marsupials to have pouches in both the male and female). It has come to encapsulate my thoughts on the shift away from paternalistic institutional thinking. I see the Thylacine as a powerful metaphor for one of many unrealized possibilities in the modern era.

The themes that are driving these paintings include everything from Orientalism and Imperialism to retro-futurism and identity. Both paintings are ongoing explorations.

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