Weeks before I moved into my new Santa Barbara home, I decided to paint a family portrait for my roommates and myself (left to right: Anthony, Me, Alec). Thanks to Anthony's girlfriend Felisha, who took a great first roomie photo of us on the day our lease started, for letting me use it for this project. I constructed this piece from a 12 x 24 inch canvas and white / black / metallic gold acrylic paint. Basically three of my favorite colors.
I was going for a look that displayed a juxtaposition of styles; the modern pop-art style of the figures paired with the traditional Asian-inspired style of the background images. I felt it created a space within the canvas that emulated Yin and Yang, further contributing to the Asain theme. The monorchromatic figures and the golden backdrop are interconnected and balanced by the golden Adidas logo and the black Chinese/Kanji Japanese character.
The two golden koi fish not only represent Asian influences but also act as a symbol for Pisces, which is Anthony's zodiac sign. If you didn't know already, I am crazy for astrology.
The wave and the golden vase are collectively meant to represent the water bearer, the symbol for Aquarius, which is the sign that both Alec and I belong to.
This Chinese/Kanji Japanese character means "home". I thought it was an appropriate word choice to hang in our temporary home. Plus, it reminds me of that Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros' song. Since I am Filipino and neither of these races, I was never taught how to properly write in these languages, so I'm sure the strokes could use some work. Please go easy on me :)
The wave itself found its way onto my canvas by way of inspiration--Katsushika Hokusai's famous The Great Wave off Kanagawa print. Hokusai's painting has clearly inspired many other artists of this time.
Katsushika Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa
My dad first introduced me to Bernard Pras, the artist of this amazing three-dimensional work, because he had constructed some pieces out of push pins that are similar to works I have done in the past (but that's a whole other blog post!).
This is another Great Wave inspired illustration that I stumbled up by artist Kozyndan that I find absolutely precious.