Tag Archives: mickey mouse art

“Topsy Turvy Too”, The Human Condition Series, No. 94

20 Oct

This was a re edit from the original “Topsy Turvy” piece, which was unfortunately rejected due to Mickey’s face being upside down in a right side up silhouette. You can find the original in the “Extra” series. Because I loved the idea of everything being backwards and the story attached to it, I resubmitted it with his face normal, but the background still being similar. Here is the original post.

“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 (too)” 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.”

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“Light Bulb City, Population: Infinite”, Loveless Letters Series, No. 12,

29 Mar

Six years ago I lost my creative synapses and the use of my hands. My brain was downtrodden with pollution, physical intoxicants, to the point of consistent delerium. Slowly, very slowly, I began to lose everything, and the world closed into this tight heated cramped space of living. I had, in essence, become less of shell of myself, and my ultimate defeat and crash in 2009 left me burnt with nowhere to go. It was rock bottom.

Surely what cured me was to retrain myself in painting. I spent the next few years diligently retraining my hands to work again. A compass and a clear plastic ruler were my teachers. I spent 60 hours a week, consistently painting, isolating myself from the world in this dingy studio off of Kingsley and Santa Monica in Little Armenia… a slightly run down sector of East Hollywood in Los Angeles. The thought process was there, but I lived by the ruler and compass like a pair of crutches.

I have been afraid to leave those crutches, and in fairness, with my recent launch over the past few years and exposure through Disney, people have relied on that geometric aesthetic as a representation of what I do.

However in January, something happened. I was being filmed for this documentary called “Tie It Into My Hand” by Paul Festa. I was the 89th teacher in this film, and what I was teaching was incredibly ethereal in concept, but totally tangible in reality. In essence, I was to teach Paul, the violinist, how to play the violin concerto by Tchaikovsky, better. The thing is with me, and the for the most part the rest of the teachers, is that none of the teachers were violinists… they were artists in other fields. So in this documentary, I decided to use what I commonly am plagued with, which is synesthesia. Synesthesia is not common for sensory deficient people. For the most part, our brains make up what we cannot see or feel. Like tasting a headache, or smelling a temperature. … I’m very used to crossing these senses to get a glimpse of what you may see in color.

So in this film, I’m teaching paul to play a color that represents the emotional cortex of the piece. In essence, since this music piece is somewhat of a love/lust letter, I’m imagining that he should be feeling deep warm colors mixed in with high heat colors. I’m hearing him play, and when he’s losing momentum, the piece is beginning to feel cold… which could roughly translate into blues and turquoises… muted cools. So I’m asking him to play again until the color represents the piece for him, and the musical temperature represents the piece for me.

When Paul Festa left that night, I closed my door and sat down at my drafting table and peered out over the edge to the window, which was slightly aglow with the city lights muted against a deep dark night. My head was humming with things that I hadn’t felt in a long time. As if, my shell cracked, and my yolk was about to spill. I could feel the crackling in my form begin to happen… and this vastness in my head began to manifest itself. The narrow, hot, shallowness began to widen into white open coolness. It was at this point where I started to realize that something strange was about to happen.

The draft of No. 12  “Wake Up and Smell the Sound of Coffee” was the gateway into this series, and this was the initial gush of nonsense that first came out. It was as if an infinite number of light bulbs were popping like popcorn in my body. Lights glittering ablaze against the brick walls of my head. .. That is what I felt, and that is what I painted. This piece is a cityscape, infinite in form and population. Each window in this piece has a tiny story. There are valleys of words, and at the base, is the borderline of where the colors I used existed, and became an actual beings for the piece. I cannot tell you what colors I used, because there is absolutely NO structure to this piece to ever recreate this piece again.

In the face resides the editorial for the piece.

MAIN FACE EDITORIAL:

“FEBRUARY 12th, TWO THOUSAND AND TWELVE, LOS FELIZ VILLAGE, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

WARM PACIFIC WINTER, SIXTY THREE DEGREES, EAST HOLLYWOOD:

I’ve often wondered how people portrayed a depiction of an idea before the invention of the lightbulb. Did they use a candle, or a flaming big torch up above their head? How did people communicate a symbol of an idea? Possible I should have researched it before writing this, BUT that is the point of this. I fully come into this piece not knowing the origins of a depicted idea. All I know is what happened while creating this. You have to know that I require structure to create the lines, divide the color, and I feel safe as a blind person to hue to have structure to section off where things need to be. .. It is more therapeutic to have that. But THIS. THIS VERY PIECE is a lightbulb turned on after so many years of quiet darkness. The room is lit up and the space is beautiful. My head has become this city full of noise and sound, … and its so nice to have it.”

SIDE PANEL EDITORIAL:

“When I was 8 years old I moved to a town called Marietta, Georgia. The bay window faced south east towards the city of Atlanta.  As I grew, so did the expanding waistline of the city. The window faced this hill/street that ended at the top cul-de-sac and all you could see was this faint glow… and the older I got the brighter the light grew. I thought the light was something heaven bound, the beginning of another world, far better than this redneck town. I didn’t know that is was the city getting bigger, as the reality of my dreams were slowly more exposed as I came into my teens. I learned that the light that I stared at contained far more possibilities than where I lived. There in the city lived people who would understand… and the traffic, OH THE TRAFFIC, it would be busy as my head. Sure enough that glow, the one I followed, brought me THERE, to this MOMENT HERE.”

BORDERLINE OF WORK AND PLAY:

“Please colors, identify yourself and what you worked on today, and don’t forget, please turn in your time cards at (and) the end of your shift, Thank You. The Management

“Press Start, Children of the 1980 Series, No. 10, 2/2012

27 Mar

Much like Nintendo was the best friend/babysitter in my childhood, the Arcade was the first real adaptation into a social circle beyond my school microcosm. In the southern suburbia that I grew up in, there was one major arcade in town in a semi thriving strip mall called “Merchants Walk”. It was tucked in at the end of the complex, next to an alleyway and a shabby theatre called “Cineplex Odeon”. Pockets drenched in quarters from my allowance, I cowboy walked clinking to the arcade thrilled to lose my mind for an hour. It was almost as if I was going to play slots, but rather than be excited about winning potential money, it was more the thrill of getting out of my head.

My world was centered around video games, and it all came down to disassociating my state of reality. Even now, in my mid thirties, when I’m having a terrible day and painting or hiking won’t help. I’ll turn on my video game system and spend an hour in a reality that is beyond my own. It kind of weeds out the pond scum junk like thoughts that plague me redundantly, and I suppose its a coping mechanism that I learned from these systems.

In regards to this piece, it is in homage to the 80’s and 90’s coin operated arcade machines. I researched the 8bit dollar sign, and plastered its pattern across the grid. I believe on the back of this canvas is the drafting of the dollar sign. While it can be interpreted that this painting has a slight angle at consumerism, that is certainly not this intent. Mickey is in greyscale, which pops off the multicolored .vs. black pattern. This gives an impression that Mickey, himself, is the console, and therefore the gateway from everyday reality to the arcade world of imaginative reveries (as if you pressed the actual mickey image, it would start the game).

This is about the portal from everyday reality into an 8bit world of objective consciousness through the means of an arcade system. Insert a coin, and press start, and your world turns into side scrolling active world that without knowing it, calms the mind, and pushes you into a satiated state for the hungry dreamer.

“Diamond Grid Mickey”, Geometric Spectrum Series, No.2, 11/2011

18 Mar

This was immediately followed up right after finishing “Mickey Emits Rainbow Burst”. Originally the pattern in the face was a reversal of the background, but the thin lines of his lower jaw seemed to make the face disappear so I covered it in white. There are remnants of the background slightly underneath the white.

This was something, that I used to be SO uncomfortable with. I liked clean thin lines. I liked perfect solid patterns and spaces, with no history of my mistakes underneath.. however for some reason, I wanted have this inkling of my past tries in this painting, which you can slightly see. This was the first time I liked that idea (and you’ll see in more posts to come, where I eventually went with this).

This is painted with Light Ultramarine Blue (PB2) and CP Cadmium Orange (PO20) with a Fluorescent Orange overlay.

Disney Fine Art has this under “Diamonds are a Mouse’s Best Friend” which is hilarious.

“Mickey Emits Rainbow Burst”, Geometric Spectrum Series, No.1, 11/2011

18 Mar

“Mickey Emits Rainbow Burst” was the first piece that I did for the collection. The idea that was in my head at the time was that I was only allowed to do one to two pieces, and these (one to) two really had to count if I wanted to represent my style among the collective of other Disney Fine Artists who also were in the project. Previously with my work with DFA, I relied on geometric set ups to place my color choices. Everything is laid out to plan, kind of like a color by numbers grid, so that each pigment has a place. This is how colorblind people operate. If we cannot see the color, then we have to learn what color is by codes and words, and those codes and words are placed into purposely segmented areas to achieve a harmonious end result. In essence, the real art in a sense, is the communication from two different seeing color worlds (you from the world of color, and us from the world of codes and words).

Disney Fine Art retitled this “Mickey Emits Rainbows of Happiness” I believe.