Tag Archives: memphis milano

“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.




“Memphis Milano Mickey”, Children of the 1980’s Series, No. 49

19 Mar

Memphis Milano Mickey


At first when deciding to become an artist professionally, my main drives were to validate the function of geometric shapes, ¬†and to use colors I was blind to, to confirm validation for my color deficient self. The formula for TENxTENxTEN’s volume of work divided by the similarity of the same Mickey face equaled an equation that would have to further my drive beyond geometry. I had to work deeper, and therefore went to nostalgia (hence the Children of the 1980’s series creation)

When experimenting with No. 48 “Pink Bermuda”, I focused on George J. Sowden’s “Acapulco Clock, it opened up a vast interest of not only him, but the “Memphis Milano” collective he was a part of. Ettore Sottsass, the founder of Memphis Milano, ¬†shaped the way the 1980’s were worn and lived in. His style impacted the world, and earthquaked a fashion trend that saturated the planet in controlled chaos.

This piece, entitled “Memphis Milano Mickey’, was inspired by the French designer Nathalie Du Pasquier, who was the cutting edge force behind the aesthetics of the 1980’s. In this painting, I focused on my strength in geometric shapes fashioned against mismatched patterns of pink, green, aqua blue, and yellow. Mickey and the achromatic scales here are the anchors to the color storm, fixating himself as a object of safety and sanity in a world that, at any minute, could spin out of control into oblivion.

This is the 8th piece of the “Children of the 1980’s Series” and the 56th of the TENxTENxTEN collection.

“Pink Bermuda”, Geometric Spectrum, No. 43

9 Dec

"Pink Bermuda"

Continuing on the path of the “Geometric Series”, I decided to work on a few elements here, beyond just chromatic shapes. My focus on this piece was from a particular notorious period of style in the 80’s influenced by “The Memphis Group”

“The Memphis Group” was a Italian architecture and design group formed by Ettore Sottsass, whose primary aesthetic was the chaotic blending of Italian Futurism, Art Deco, and Pop Art. While this group primarily worked with sculpture, furniture, and accessories, their aesthetic was the MOST influential design movement that defined the very style of the 80’s. Often met with great criticism and considered one of the most obnoxious modern art styles (even to the point of playfully being called a ‘shotgun wedding between Bauhaus and Fischer-Price), Sottsass’s style was possibly one of the most notorious and yet the most misunderstood visions of our time.

This piece, entitled “Pink Bermuda” (in reference to “The Bermuda Triangle”, and the pink sands notoriously associated with Bermuda itself) was influenced by The Memphis Art Group’s “George J. Sowden’s “Acapulco” clock prototype in 1981. This piece, whose colors were cerulean blue and pink, which were considered completely unconventional and bizarre, YET became a staple for The Memphis-Milano Movement, and singlehandedly became the trend forecasted color combination for years to come in fashion and art.