Tag Archives: disney

The Distance Between Two Points, Geometric Spectrum, No. 69

30 Nov

 The Distance Between Two Points

Geometry goes beyond just the mathematics of shapes, but delves into the mathematics of circumstance, time, and connection. Our lives are built on the architecture of non physical, but circumstantial math that begs the question “How did we get here, and how are we connected?” The end piece to the Geometric Spectrum series paints a portrait of metaphysical geometry, closing this chapter as a means to awaken the viewer to the possibilities of our connections.

I started this piece as an accident one afternoon off of St. Marks Place at the Yaffa Cafe in New York City. Having just finished “Susquehanna”, a piece on TransAmerican conversations becoming an integral part of art, I picked up a rolled up blank canvas, and promptly set a coffee cup to flatten out its shape. The coffee cup was wet with its dark brew, and created a stained ring at the top of Mickey’s face. With my head heavy from seeing the multitude of connections created from “Susquehanna”, my view of this coffee stain was more than an accident. This stain existed at this specific time and this location, and therefore would never exist again at this same time and location on this piece. This created a beginning point of geometry where people, time, circumstance, and location formed a shape unknown and unformed until its end creation.

At that time and place, I realized that metaphysical and emotional geometry was a shape I could not see, but I sought to create. I would not know when I was going to complete this, or how it would look, and there was no formula in my life to bring this together.

Here is where it led me, and this is where it was painted:

  1. Yaffa Cafe, NYC, NY (Beginning, 8/25/2013 at 2:00PM)
  2. L Train to Brooklyn, NY
  3. Rented Apartment, Brooklyn, NY (Influence Point)
  4. Flight 2913 NYC to Los Angeles
  5. BRU Cafe, Los Angeles, CA
  6. Edgemont // Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
  7. Flight 783 from Los Angeles to Chicago, IL
  8. Flight 2024 Chicago, IL to Berlin, Germany (Influence Point)
  9. East London Restaurant, Kreuzberg, Berlin
  10. Mehringdamm Flat, Kreuzberg, Berlin (Influence Point)
  11. Flight Schönefeld Airport to ORLY France
  12. Simplon Flat, Northern Paris, France (Influence Point)
  13. Montmarte, Paris
  14. Le Marais, Paris
  15. Flight ORLY France, to Schönefeld, Berlin
  16. East London Restaurant, Kreuzberg, Berlin (Influence Point)
  17. Mehringdamm Flat, Kreuzberg, Berlin 9/26/2013 8:00AM (Influence Point)

The influence points in the location sectors are people who helped me formulate how this piece would form. On the street, in my flat that I was sharing, or just people on the street, I asked “Where should this line go?”, and from there the form of the piece would change. The influence points are pivotal markers in the painting that ultimately changed the direction, and therefore connected the location and the people together.

Geometry is more than just shapes, and it connects us in ways we take for granted. As artists, we are conduits and storytellers that bring images to life by means of other people, time, and places. This painting is a reminder of this geometry that exists in the air within us.

This piece is called “The Distance Between Two Points”, and is the last of the Geometric Spectrum Series. In the top frame you will see two coffee stains. One is the beginning coffee stain, created at Yaffa Cafe, in St. Marks Place in NYC, NY. This stain was created on 8/25/2013. The 2nd coffee stain was created in the Mehringdamm flat in Kreuzberg, Berlin on 9/26/2013 at 8:00AM using the previous days espresso from the East London Restaurant.

This created a time difference of 768 hours (46,080 minutes), and the distance of 3,988.38 miles marking ‘the distance between two points” which is noted in the marriage of these two stains.

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“Double Dragon”, Extra Series, No. XX

7 Apr

'Double Dragon'

It is quite hard to explain in entirety about my love for the movie “Sleeping Beauty”. It is easy to talk about a subject with minimal points about something I appreciate, because there is so little to talk about, but when it comes to this film.. I am absolutely tongue tied because there is so much to talk about.

As a child I was fascinated with this film primarily for the antagonist Maleficent, who single handedly taught me the art of sarcasm. While on one hand I was terrified by her ruthless antics against Princess Aurora, I was also simultaneously captivated by her cool demeanor. For years I strived to find a compelling villain that rivaled the characterization of Maleficent, and still at 35, cannot find a character that comes close.

As an adult I fell further in love with this film for the art stylings of Eyvind Earle, whose geometric bliss of backgrounds saturated my youthful artistic mind with such possibility. His stylings were so ahead of its time, and his vision in this film makes this not just an incredible animated piece, but a progressive ‘out of this world’ foundation of artistic genius.

In this piece, entitled “Double Dragon”, Maleficent is shown in creature form mirrored on both sides of the canvas to represent a sense of ‘no escape’ and ‘clutches of evil’ aspect to the protagonists in the middle. However in the epicenter of the painting, Aurora and Prince Phillip are in a silhouetted embrace of love, creating an explosion that radiates out to the edges of the canvas. Furthermore, the power of love ultimately splits the foundation of Maleficent’s power, creating deepening cracks to signify her destruction.

This is the 2nd in the Disney History Series, and 59th in the TENxTENxTEN collection.

“Forevermore”, The Human Condition Series, No. 51

5 Apr

"Forevermore"

Love is the incredible psychic adhesive that glues us all together.

It is complex and vast in its mystical workings, and for the life of me, one of the hardest emotions to piece together as a painting. When doing the “Human Condition Series”, emotions of greed, despair, and confusion were the easiest to put together, as these primarily worked as surface agents that, from a visual perspective, were easy to explain. Love, in all its circuitous glory, was far more intimidating to create, as it relied on my understanding on emotional depth, .. and I had to dive deep into the random crazy scribblings that I prescribe myself in these workings to fundamentally explain the sinewy fabrications of an emotion I have chased for years.

This piece is composed of dozens of phrases that ultimately construct the cloud 9 consciousness that love emits. In the face, items of music, flowers, and catchphrases bloom from the center of the face. There are radiating circumferences of pink and black that pulsate to the outer edges of the piece, signifying that frequency like signal that the feeling of love emits… almost as if Mickey is radio tower broadcasting waves of joy and happiness to all that is in reach.

This started out in Seattle Washington at a wedding on Capitol Hill during Valentines Day, and was worked on a flight back to San Francisco, and various diners and locations all over SF as well.

This piece is entitled “Forevermore” as in reference to happily ever after we, as humans, chase throughout our lives. It is the 8th in “Human Condition” series, and 58th in the TENxTENxTEN collection.

“Mehandi Mickey”, Around the World Series, No. 47

17 Mar

Mehandi Mickey

Mehandi (or Mehndi) is a form of Indian and Nepalese skin decoration using henna ink, lemon juice, and white sugar. Traditionally the use of Mehandi is for weddings and festivals such as Diwali, Bhaidooj, Teej, Karva Chauth, etc. Most commonly these designs are found on the hands and feet because of the lack of melanin in the skin in these areas. The idea of Mehandi is of a Vedic custom, and is an art form representing the “awakening of inner light”

This piece is entitled “Mehandi Mickey”, and falls into the “Around the World Series” representing India. In this painting, I infused designs from traditional mid twentieth century Mehandi design books that were intended for ceremonial use. Historically the symbols in this piece translate the following

  1. Flowers: Joy and happiness
  2. Leaves and Vines: Devotion, perseverance, vitality
  3. Flowers from the Fishes Mouth: Love at first sight
  4. Checkerboard: Moments and memories of joy.
  5. Eyes: Symbols to ward off ‘the evil eye”
  6. Zig-Zags: Abundance and wealth
  7. Peacock: Beauty

Also, there is two Mickey Mouse hats speaking in speech bubbles the symbols of flowers translating the ‘joy and happiness’ that Mickey Mouse creates.

Each sector of this piece has colors that connect with each other. The background is red with black drawings with white accents. The border of Mickey has a black background with white drawings with red accents. The face contains a white background with red drawings with black accents. This represents the common thread of intertwined continuity, representing that our character is not alone, but connected to every person, place, and thing in this world.

Hidden in this piece are also words in Sanskrit for love, happiness, and Mickey Mouse.

“Topsy Turvy”, Extra Series, No. XX

30 Dec

Topsy Turvy

Disorientation is the feeling I experience the most in regards to “The Human Condition Series”. I’ve been confused for a large portion of my life as understanding and keeping the information of things learned has always slipped my grasp as a kid. My brain had the hardest time retaining facts and information when I was young, and I always felt like I was spinning in this upside down spiraling void whenever asked to repeat, recite, or simply remember anything.

I used to think that inside everyone’s body was a house. Inside your feet were the basement and rec room, the legs were the study and exercise rooms, the stomach was the kitchen and dining room, the chest was the living room, and the brain was your own bedroom of sorts. Everyday I’d walk around staring at people trying to figure out what their house looked like from the inside, and automatically would associate their personality to the state of their house. The wacky would have funky houses, the prim and proper would have cookie cutter duplexes, and sad and disheveled would have empty and lost rooms awaiting furniture.

Looking inside my own self, I imagined that all the furniture was on the ceiling, and that magazines, coffee cups, and random flotsam and jetsam floated about the room with no gravity, aimlessly clinking into each other with no means of ever settling. All the paintings were backwards, and everything was in a consistent state of how I liked to describe to people as “upside-down-ness”. I suppose this was some kind of coping mechanism to relate to the world that I had attention deficit hyperactive disorder,  and had severe learning disabilities in both math and science.

When teachers would ask “Why can’t you understand this?” or “Why aren’t you retaining this information”, I could only reply that everything in my head was “Topsy Turvy”, and/or more specifically “That none of my furniture is on the floor in my head”, to which would promptly get me sent to the school shrink for my metaphors (which was common). I think for a lot of my life growing up in the microcosm of the school system in Georgia, my ability to relate to people on an educational level, let alone, a social level, was met with great obstacles, due to my inability to retain information. I was always in this state of confusion due to the mass amount of information being fed to me on a daily basis. In essence my imagination was a deterrent to me understanding anything, and therefore became my worst enemy.

With that being said, I was always “TOPSY TURVY”.

I was heavily insecure about this, even after being retested in my senior year and being rebranded as intelligent, heck.. EVEN after becoming an algebra tutor to my peers in college. .. I still had this lingering aftertaste of being inadequate and slow to the world. That feeling of confusion, being overwhelmed, backwards, upside-down.. still floated around softly in my skull tepidly whispering its potential of return. Occasionally in my late twenties and thirties working in business/corporate, I’d be reminded of its ghost, and I’d give it little refuge for establishing itself in my head.

It wasn’t until I fully realized that this confusion, this disorientation, … was more of a sensation from stifling my imagination and creative abilities. When I was discovered as an artist, my ideas emptied out of my head like a burst dam. .. YEARS AND YEARS of dreaming, thinking, drawing, sketching, … previous actions which were hinderances to my learning development, were suddenly rewarded by my quirky and weird thought processes. I wasn’t a failure. I wasn’t slow. In fact, there was nothing wrong with me at all. I just happened to be a human being meant for different things, things that required different thought patterns and different approaches. I was an artist. That was really it in the end.

This piece is called “Topsy Turvy” which is the essential mainframe to confusion and ‘upside-down-ness’. For some of us, this backwards feeling can be quite unsettling, BUT for us creative folks, the idea of changing things around… thinking outside the box, and putting the ‘triangle peg in the square shape” … can be the very RARE quality that makes us catalysts for others to dream, think beyond the scope, and ultimately see and create beautiful things.

“Rain City Blues”, Human Condition Series, No. 42

28 Nov

Despair was such a hard feeling to bring into the “Human Condition” series. I thought about it for weeks, trying to figure out how I could essentially communicate this emotion without changing the smile on Mickey’s face. Sure I could use a different expression, but that would derail the entire point of the TENxTENxTEN collection. I decided to return to where I met the most obstacles in my life, and purchased tickets to Seattle, Washington.

When I had announced that I was returning to Washington to research despair, I was met with many comments over my choice by Seattle locals who found it slightly offensive that I chose THEIR town to research this feeling. I should mention that Seattle was not a city of despair, but a city where I personally found despair. These feelings emanated from the consequences of bad decisions I had made in that town, and mixed deep with the relentless rain and lack of sunshine that the Pacific Northwest was most famous for. I was unprepared for the present at that time, and slothed back and forth for 18 months (2006 – 2008) through the muddy torrential downpours, miserable from regret of leaving San Francisco and that lovely apartment I had off of 8th street in the SOMA district. I had left back to San Francisco burnt from the inability to adapt to Seattle, and carried with me a list of addiction issues, and personality problems. I was … in essence, a very sad and troubled fellow, and what I carried with me weighed me further down in my downward spiral, until my ultimate crash and burn event in Los Angeles a year later.

Upon returning to Seattle in a far more sober state that when I lived there, and I was able to revisit the feeling of despair from a rear view mirror. I did not experience despair, but remembered the experience of despair, and in doing so, was able to forge a painting based based off this emotion. This painting is built off of elements of Seattle, Washington. First I worn down the canvas by dragging it across the sidewalk down Broadway Avenue in Capitol Hill. I then infused black gouache with coffee grinds from the coffee houses of Vivace, Stumptown Roasters, and Roy Street to create the base of Mickey’s face. The background was later used with coffee, ink from pressed flowers, gouache, and rainwater I had captured in a pickle jar from the weekends downpour. I lined Mickey’s face with elements of soft sharp lines to emphasize a feeling of cracking, and drew lines of rain dripping in straight linear lines in the background.

With these elements I forged a portraiture of despair. Despair to me was never at best, dramatic. Despair did not move to destroy, it was not made of anger. Despair while insidious, moved like molasses. It was quiet and slow and sat uncomfortably like a distant ache. It was not sharp. It did not destroy me, It taught me to be better, to get better, and to desire greener pastures. It taught me to acknowledge my rock bottom, so I could move upwards to the top. Despair was an opaque and multidimensional teacher, and Seattle was my classroom.

Some would consider my visit to Seattle a bit ironic, considering I experienced nothing but joy and requited love from the visit.. but considering the state of my consistent sobriety, and my acknowledgement that Seattle is and WAS a beautiful city that I had miserable experiences is .. well … its not very ironic at all, but a testament to my growth as a human being.

This piece is called “Rain City Blues”, and is filed under the “Human Condition” series. This is the 47th piece of the TENxTENxTEN collection

“Vertigo, Vertigoing, Vertigone”, Geometric Spectrum Series, No. 41

20 Nov

 

It had been months since I had worked on something geometric. My head was overwhelmed with New York City and all the Mickey heads were blooming into other directions.My brain was operating in this attention deficit direction and my imagination was pointing into a million directions like an exploding octopus. At this point Disney Fine Art had established the core categories of the project, and I became focused on making some kind of headway into the other divisions. I began to shy away from the “Geometric Spectrum” part of the series because I felt in some way, that returning back to the basics would have felt defeatist in some sense.

I’ve come to learn, with all projects, no matter how short the timeframe, that returning back to the basics, can somehow reset the soul and settle the brain. I thought about Neoplasticism and its core operations of being, and how simplicity isn’t necessarily simple, and how geometric work, even at its primal executions, were still beautiful and relative.

I sat with this Mickey for a while, trying not to rehash the same elements of the series, and tried to push the idea of “Geometric Spectrum” further. The beauty about the elements of shapes is that they hone on the most fundamental and easily understood aspects of our surface feelings. Staring into a simple shape can evoke the most basic of emotions and for some of us, that brings the feeling of safety of recognizing how we feel about the art we see. In this piece, I created circles circling outwards, and played on light and darkness to give not just a feeling of dimension, but a feeling of depth and direction. I titled this “Vertigo, Vertigoing, Vertigone” for the shapes imbues a sense of soft confusion and warm dizziness. The background elements are red to emphasize a feeling of quiet madness, while Mickey radiates a light coolness, that emphasizes calmness and brings the viewer into a form of solace. This is number 46 in the series.