“Haringesque”, Odds and Ends Series, No. 91

17 Oct


It was strange how this project of 10x10x10 unfolded as the years went by. I mean, how can you make 100 portraits of the same silhouette and not change?

I look back at my first portrait in where I was relying on the safety of geometric borders and semi-clean lines, … and realizing after the 8th one… that I’d have to blur into something beyond what was comfortable for me. The whole project really began when “Wake Up and Smell the Sound of Coffee” happened (and that was an accident)… and then my whole world exploded.

Suddenly I was all over the place. I drew hundreds of different drawings because suddenly I had permission to. Portraits like “Everything is Going to be Okay”, “Cloudbusting in the Air”, and “Lightbulb City: Population Infinite” were crammed with just random objects that were more of me relearning this realm in my head as an adult (as it existed for me as a child).

As time moved on, the hundreds of objects started flittering away, and certain ones began to stay. In the end these objects transformed into icons that expressed how I felt… and soon they would begin to have names. They were:

Diamond Head Jones (Skull): Operator and Narrarator
King Sleep (Crown): Dreams
Monsieur/Madame Nuage (Cloud): Emotions
La Luz (Lightbulb): Ideas
Foudre: (Lightning Bolt): Strength from traversing through life
Pyramid Head: Safety
Mrs. Seesay (Lips with an eyeball): Singing/Theatre
Soda Popular (Soda Can): Art

These icons were the characters that solidified my future work, something that made me feel that finally… I had reached the greatness of my work.

When it came down to it however, my comparisons of “Warhol with Geometry” began to fade… suddenly when the characters solidified I began to get comments like “This reminds me of Haring a bit”..

And I totally realized they were right.

I’ve always strived for originality in my work, but I have subliminally always been influenced by the things that struck me most as a child. … and Steve Rizzi and Keith Haring were my top favorites mainly because they were so off brand in a time that was so staunch with the remnants of clean vibrant pop.

More so, in the 80’s as a closeted queer kid in the south and learning about a gay man from Pennsylvania making it work for himself out in NYC… and not only making it, but using his fame to call for queer power and fighting the AIDS crisis with a brush and pen… well.. that was the epitome of art to me.

While “Haringesque” was not a part of the “Contemporary Modern” series initially… I have my reasons. I wanted to make sure my skills were perfect before I painted the hero that made all queer artist’s work like mine evident…. and well I had already reached 10 in the series before I could feel that way.

Regardless, I love him and his work, and I am honored to be an artist that people see a resemblance in aesthetically.

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