Tag Archives: 80’s

“Tokyo Ocean Drive 1983”, Odds and Ends Series, No. 88

9 Aug

Tokyo Ocean Drive 1983

 

During the Winter out in Chicago, I nestled myself in my 5th floor apartment at the Envoy building out in the Bryn Mawr Historic District. I would spend most of my time indoors, often never leaving for days.. all the while my radiator quit working, and I would end up utilizing this old electronic heating fan while wearing three layers of clothes .. rubbing my hands together consistently .. while painting for endless hours in the cold days and into the even colder nights.

At this point it had been weeks that my drafty minuscule apartment had lost radiator heat, and despite the cranky yet well meaning maintenance man, nothing seemed to work. I began to go a little crazy into the ending weeks of February.. and decided to use that madness for a piece in the 10x10x10 collection.

I began listening to any kind of music that made me feel warm. One genre in particular, called “Vaporwave”, whistfully blared over my speakers into my cold apartment… often transporting me back the warm 80’s aesthetics of Miami and Los Angeles. I began to remember my time in Miami when I’d float through South Beach while touring art schools in the mid nineties.. and decided to focus on the 1980/1990 geometric aesthetics of Memphis-Milano and infuse that with white sketch patterns over cool colors of lilac and aqua blue. While painting this, I felt transported out of my igloo of my apartment, and back into the nostalgia Commodore 64 / IBM days of a digital world on the brink of discovery.

This piece is called Tokyo Ocean Drive 1983. Tokyo represents the 80’s digital era, while Ocean Drive reflects the warm summering days of Miami during the revolutionary aesthetic times of 1983. This comes as number 88 in the TENxTENxTEN collection.

 

 

“Dataworld.exe”, Children of the 1980’s Series, No. 60

11 Sep

560O0105C Data World Exe 14x14

Floppy disks, both 8 inch and 3 1/2 inch size, were canvases for some of my first works of “art”. I use that term loosely because when I was 8 years old,  “art” to me was … well drawing ninjas and wizards on EVERYTHING.  I used these disks to store data for mostly pictures (i think one of these disks could hold 3 of them), as well as shareware games. I ended up using these disks even up to the year 1999, when I purchased my first digital camera. It was a ONE megapixel camera… it was the size of 2 bricks, and had a massive strap to put around my neck because it was so incredibly heavy.

This was before the time of SD cards… so guess what this camera used to capture pictures?

Yes folks, this camera used 3 1/2 floppy disks. .. and because I TOOK PICTURES OF EVERYTHING… .. I had ALOT of these floppy disks lying around. I still, to this day, have these around, because.. well I’m an art hoarder.

So looking fondly (and awkwardly) back at my youth in the 80’s, I came up with this piece as 3 1/2 floppy disks (aka: hard disks or diskettes) were intrinsically a part of my life and my friends lives back then. This is called “Dataworld.exe” and it is the 9th in the “Child of the 80’s series, and 68th in the collection. Inside the face of Mickey are actual windows DOS coding that revolve around basic data folders and listings. The drawings on these floppy disks are kid like and playful, and point to some of the core Disney characters and what they may have drawn on them, if they too were part of the extravagant nerd culture of the 80’s like I was.

“Mickissey”, Extra Series, No. XX

31 Mar

"Mickissey"

My love of KISS imagery primarily is retrospective. It did not spawn in their heyday of the 1970’s, as I was only 3 when 1980 rolled around. I do however, remember when I first saw Gene Simmons on the television screen, and I remember being completely transfixed. I also remember feeling incredibly guilty of being transfixed as I was raised in a strict Catholic upbringing, and really.. thought that I was witnessing the hypnotic powers of satan on television. Not only was I raised in a catholic home, but I was raised in a home that only listened to classical music and disco sounds (and the combination of the two), so hearing this heightened version of rock ‘n’ roll, .. well it peeled back the artichoke layers of my brain and opened my ears to a whole new form of sound.

KISS, to me, revolutionized the way I heard music, and the way music made me feel. Before KISS, I thought music was only for hearing, but this.. the words, guitar riffs, and catchy drum beats, spiraled my little youthful brain into a chaotic tempest of noise and feeling that I had never experienced before. It should be noted however, that these feelings terrified me because I did not understand them,… so for most of my childhood, I was terrified by them (and yet drew them consistently).

It wasn’t until my teens, where I revisited the icons of my past, where I acknowledged that what terrified me, were perhaps the most powerful spirits of my cognitive expansion. KISS, was at the forefront of this self discovery. I began to listen again to the lyrics, which were so different than when I first heard them. It was like I was reading a book for the 2nd time, and understanding it for the 1st time now that my brain fully comprehended the words. The lyrics were soothing sympathetic verses of not only being ‘misunderstood’ per se, but fully grabbing the reigns of being the ‘ginger sheep’ of the group, and holding power in knowing how to harness the idea of individuality. It was saying to me “Yeah, people may call you a freak, but you are, so rock on with your freak self”.

This is the 9th of the “Children of the 1980’s” Series, and 58th in the TENxTENxTEN collection. The title of this piece is called “Mickissey”