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TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...............................................................................................2 Solitical...........................................................................................................................3 Digital Works...............................................................................................................31 Drawings.......................................................................................................................43 Paintings........................................................................................................................63 Prints.............................................................................................................................79 Sculpture.....................................................................................................................93 Fashion...........................................................................................................................97 Photography..............................................................................................................105 Shiny Ball...................................................................................................................125 References.................................................................................................................127


SOLITICAL BY MICHAEL HURT

FOR MOM AND DAD ©COPYRIGHT 2009


Our Ideology Part One: I Want It All. Do you remember as a child the first time you drove through a really big city? The awe of the massive buildings; the beauty of their glass and steel and the glass and steel and stone and sea and sky they reflected back and forth; the size of the place, block after block. As you stared out at the passing scenery and people, did you not wonder how it came to be? Who owned the great and beautiful skyscraper, hotel, or car? Did you not want to be that person? If you answered no, then almost certainly by the time you were sixteen you were so bludgeoned with movies, music, and television and all the advertising and star gossip that surrounds our entertainment that you most certainly wanted some piece of that pie. How could you not? Take notice today of all of the poverty level women with Coach purses, and you’ll begin to see what I mean. It’s not an accident; anymore it’s practically brainwashing. Average people are continually convinced by the media, politicians, and their peers that they are meant to have everything that Oprah has. While this may be not too far from the truth in terms of natural rights, it is not feasible based on capitalist laws. How many people are willing to make work their life, as Oprah has? “Talkin’ bout labor pains, nigga show me the baby.” -Nas


title...I Want It All . dimensions...30”x40” . technique...Colored Pencil, Ink

date...2009


Part Seven: Xanax Nation. If it seems there are more problems than promise in our society, what should we as a people do? Try to find and work towards solutions, or try to cope with them instead: Lets get high. At least half of America is taking one prescription drug according to the Department of Health and Human Services. If you’re one of the 30+ million known Americans prescribed to a non-essential drug or one of the other millions that take prescriptions drugs illegally. Listen, we all have bad days. Shit, some people even have bad months. That’s no excuse to get high off medication every single day. People who get high every day aren’t solving their problems, their ignoring them and compounding them. I know. I was into marijuana daily and abusing pills often, and drinking or tripping on the weekends the last half of high school and beyond. I’ve been to the abyss. Most of my childhood friends are still chasing that abyss. They don’t even do it for fun anymore. They haven’t for a long time. It’s routine now. They don’t want things any different. Wake up, get their buzz going again, ensure the next one is on hand, and wait for the right time to bump up again. People living like this are in a cycle, but the common misconception is that they are trapped in a cycle when it is simply not true. I know as they do that they could break it at any given second. It’s only a matter of will power. I’ve helped meth heads kick their habits cold turkey, and I hear people talk about having to take something as stupid as Prozac. Prozac does not cause a serious physical dependency. A body will not try to shut down if it is suddenly without it like with meth, cocaine, or opiates. Yet more and more Americans are claiming “I have to have Xanax.” I put that in quotes because several of my friends’ voices are just blaring it in my mind as I type. If they would really go in public without being high, would they really die? No. They may have some sort of anxiety attack, BUT IT’S ONLY BECAUSE THEY HASN’T STEPPED OUT INTO THE REAL WORLD IN EIGHT YEARS! IT’S PROBABLY TIME TO COME DOWN. The sad thing is that they obviously don’t plan to. If a person is prescribed an antidepressant, sleep aid, or similar drug do they really begin it as a treatment, or do they begin it without considering when they will be ready to stop taking it. I say it’s sad because most of those drugs, as with most any mind-altering drug, really disintegrate memories. Like I said, I’ve taken Xanax myself plenty of times and it was really, really common to wake up the next day and not remember when I went to bed and the events leading up to going to bed. If people take some of these prescriptions daily at a moderate to high dosage, they stand a high chance of not remembering when they did something and they’ll usually not recall doing it at all. Therefore, we must ask ourselves before becoming influenced by these easy ways out. Is it really worth it? Are you willing to give up your memories, your life, to take the edge off? Because as time passes all you really have are memories. Are you willing to give up everything to not feel anxious, or tired or sad once in awhile? Commonplace medication is a problem. There is a pill for everything, and it only takes a little convincing to get your hands on them. Hell, many times we the common person are the ones who are initially convinced that we have an abnormality that requires medical correction either by television or a hypochondriacal friend. If you have restless legs its because your sleeping all day and probably not active enough while


title...Xanax Nation . dimensions...30”x40” . technique...Colored Pencil, Ink, Gouche

date...2009

your awake. If you’re nervous around large groups of people, it’s because you’re too self-conscious. If you can’t sleep right away at night, it’s because you’re a normal person with a lot on your mind. There is no constant state of euphoria for anyone; regardless of how happy those silhouettes floating through the fields on prescription drug ads appear. Eventually they would run into a mirror, and realize they have no reflection. The point is ups and downs and restless legs are a part of life, deal, and enjoy and remember the good times.


title...Madonna and Child dimensions...20�x16� technique...Colored Pencil, Ink, Watercolor, Acrylic date...2009


Part Two: Madonna and Child. Do you enjoy breathing? If a man were to put a gun to your head and ask a similar question, would you beg for your life? What if you were not given a choice? What if you never had a life to consider begging for in the first place? Would you rather that or continue living and experiencing our world and the events that are to unfold of your life? Now, considering your point of view on the matter, is it fair to take this choice away from the others? Is it fair or ethical to kill the unborn? Obviously not. Regardless of possible hardships to be endured or situations to be considered, abortion is unethical. It is the denying of a life. In doing so, it is the taking of a life. Ultimately, it is the eraser of a life. Abortion destroys all of the events and possibilities that come with life. Many billions of children have been born into poverty. Many have been born into pain and suffering. So many have been born into a world of abuse and neglect, but life itself is an endless dimension of options. There are eventually options for any person born (not locked in a cage from birth) to rise above these sufferings, or at least to attempt to. That struggle alone, most of the time, is better than no options at all, no existence at all. I have heard the arguments for abortion, but not a single one has made me even slightly side with leniency. A woman has no more a right to choose than a man or the child. A child might be given to horrible foster parents, but again the option to strive for better or to escape from a world of abuse always exists. Even if the escape is as severe as suicide, at least the rightful person made the choice. If a child is to be severely handicapped, at least that child could still have a chance to experience the ups and downs of life, even if the ups are few and a fraction of ours who are blessed with well-being. A woman who is not prepared to take responsibility for a child or a woman who has been raped is not forced to keep the child. There are huge waiting lists for people who cannot father children and would adorn a new life as if they created it themselves. Then there are those who say that some could not bear to give up a child; so they would rather deny that child life? That makes no sense whatsoever. That is the ultimate selfishness. Gluttony, in general is a venial selfishness in that it is an undue indulgence in a thing, which in itself is neither good nor bad. Of course, it is obvious that a different estimate would have to be given of one so wedded to the pleasures of the table as to absolutely and without qualification live merely to eat and drink. Necessity then becomes the measure of indulgence in eating and drinking. We all love to eat or drink, but there is no need to try to eat every meal as if it were your last. Many Americans have not only traded in their core values for money, material possessions, the easy life, and attention, but also, at the same time have gorged into their selfish desires. So much so that they’ll compromise their physical wellness and essentially their lifespan. Obesity is not harmless. It causes limitations, both physical and emotional, to self and others. It causes embarrassment, feelings of worthlessness, and sometimes-actual worthlessness. It can hinder a person’s possible life experiences in many ways: sexually, timely, financially, functionally and probably in more ways than I can imagine. Obesity is nearly inevitable for a small percentage of people. Many more are afflicted with an unwillingness to accept responsibility and act accordingly to neglect over-indulgences while desperately clinging to a self-justified sense of helplessness or near helplessness.


America has become the land of the consumer and consequently the land of the over-indulged. We wear it as if it were a flag stapled on our backs. It is not so ironically similar that we act with regards to our high obesity percentages as we act towards our foreign policies. The policies we claim to be ashamed of we to not support yet we vote those policies into our offices with our politicians. It is one of the foundations of our constitution that many Americans should be able disagree with an issue or action while the rest of Americans are willing to act opposite of those disagreements made. For example, many Americans, even politicians opposed the American Revolution, but the country still fought for freedom from Britain. The same was true for the Iraq War. Many opposed while some agreed. If all opposed then we might seem to be a weak nation. If everyone supported the war, then we would appear to be a nation of evil imperialists. On an individual basis, this is nearly identical of how we face our obesity and indulgence issues. The media is overloaded with diet and exercise awareness and or marketing. At the same time, it is overloaded with “get more for your money� restaurant and food sales commercials. Overweight people often claim to be dieting, but make daily exceptions while neglecting the ultra importance of physical activity. Everyone knows that losing weight can be very difficult, and putting it on for a few people can be much easier, but there is an overwhelming congruity in our society between our average obesity levels and our cultural natures. Especially when compared to other nations. Having traveled and lived in different countries such as Germany, Italy, Netherlands, and Turkey I can easily attest the evidence is apparent to the naked eye.


detail...Madonna and Child .

date...2009


title...The Christmas Gift . dimensions...15.5”x22” . technique...Colored Pencil, Ink . date...2008

Part Five: The Christmas Gift. From my perspective, the worst of the moral sickness or negligence tends to circle about the political spectrum. With a continuous cycle of padding pockets, campaign contributions paid for mostly by average consumers, and the return with huge earmarks once elected, of course billed to the taxpayers. Earmarks slipped into bills passed in 2008 totaled about $17bn and were 11,737 in number (FY 2008 Summary). That seemed like a lot of money last year, but then fall rolled around and our trusted politicians in Washington really wanted to keep the economic wheels turning. We the people were alerted that there were major bookkeeping errors in Lehman Brothers and that they were collapsing along with worldwide mega insurance and asset management corporation AIG. While Lehman Brothers was allowed to go under, we were repeatedly told that AIG was too big to fail, so on September 16, 2008 the Federal Reserve gave AIG an $85bn loan in return for an 80% ownership stake in the company. By the laws of capitalism, making the once too big to fail company a government entity. In the subsequent months, following AIG has been given bailouts on numerous occasions totaling $182.5bn thus far. (Bloomberg.com) Now that’s a Christmas gift if there ever was one! An original estimated $75 billion loan (that the American people as a majority thought was a bad idea) grew into, are you ready for this, $2.6 trillion gross total of funds dumped into the economy and credit markets (Goldman, AIG)! That’s 35x the original bailout!


Part Six: Change! Got Any Change? However, surprisingly, with the current Obama administration the use of earmarks has dropped. Of course, they have not disappeared completely as the President promised in his election campaign. Then again, why would they need to slip earmarks into bills, when the bills they are passing give away hundreds of billions of dollars anyway. On February 17th, Obama signed the $787 bn economic stimulus plan, and the proposed budget for the rest of the year will dump another $3.5 trillion in various sources (Shear). That’s a total of over $4,000,000,000,000 spent in his first year! Change we need indeed! President Obama’s very first action in office, the economic stimulus bill, was the exact same as President Bush’s bailout bill before leaving! Nobody has $4 trillion to throw around: not the American people and certainly not the American government. Our entire country’s GDP is about $7 trillion (Wolf), which means our politicians are willing to bet nearly two thirds of our combined years production on his budget! Feel like betting two thirds of your salary? Like it or not, you are. Thankfully, our widely unregulated Capitalist system tends to naturally keep these sort of back door deals and all around shady business practices at a minimum in most non-political sectors excluding Wall Street. For the simple fact that if you act dishonestly in business, lie, cheat, and steal, word about your actions will spread faster than your business can and you will soon fail and probably face civil lawsuits depending on the severity of your bastardness. This tends to apply mostly to smaller sized, or local businesses, product producing businesses, or service industries, though. The degree of moral infidelity tends to exponentially gain parallel to the size and/or degree of imperceptible public influence of a given individual business. This is due to a negative balance of a single individuals personal responsibility within said business. Again, these are all conventional observations, and not laws. There are some businesses that function according to a higher moral standard depending of course on those who head the businesses operations, but as mentioned before, ruthlessness can often be the determining factor of success in businesses of a larger nature where financially more can be at stake. From my experience, having been a small business owner myself and having worked for larger companies. I have found business leaders often try to find just the right balance of dubiousness and integrity in every aspect of business and employment. Any major imbalance on either side of this ethical scale and you stand to exude dissatisfaction or accrue financial loss. I am not trying to say that corruption is something new. Obviously, these practices are as old as human relations themselves. In our present society, though, with the ever-increasing moral negligence of our gross domestic psyche, equally our business practices are growing less ethical. Selfishness, greed, and differing aspects of moral corruption are obviously more common today in the business world than they were 50 years ago. It is not just the CEO’s and higher ups with a stake in this game, as the media loves to champion. Common people, such as those working in many unions, 2nd and 3rd party government funded operations, and sometimes in regular private businesses and industries fall into a pit of self-concern and lust for easy or undeserved wealth, doing wrong by those who try to maintain and practice a higher moral standard in their professional lives.


title...Change! Got Any Change? dimensions...22�x16� technique...Colored Pencil, Ink date...2009


title...Change! Got Any Change? part two dimensions...22�x16� technique...Colored Pencil, Ink date...2009


Part Three: Change! Got Any Change? As ministers say every Sunday it easy to act like a good Christian inside the church doors, but whom do you act like when you walk out. Do you keep your professed ideals or tuck them away until next Sunday? When it’s time again to chime in, “Hallelujah!” Or maybe you don’t believe in any religion, but I bet your were still exposed to the lifelong goals and the golden rule somewhere along your life’s journey; perhaps not. If you try to Google lifelong goals today, they are nowhere to be found: an honest reflection of our current values. Perhaps the lifelong goals were just a little pet project of some higher up in our grade school; a feeble attempt to inject integrity into my generation on an eventually unnoticeable level. Regardless, I will reiterate them to you: Honesty, Integrity, Respect, Initiative, Caring, Courage, and Perseverance. Of course, I would hope that everyone has heard of the Golden Rule: Treat others, as you want to be treated. Ever hear these? Do you care? In our contemporary society, it can seem impossible for us to succeed both financially and morally in the same life. I have no argument for that. Exponentially we are witness to the success of those people who have seemingly abandoned their morals, and we are reasonably led to assume that we must make a similar choice. On the one hand you could achieve either financially and possibly professionally, and on the other hand you could do right by others and yourself and be walked all over by those more ruthless than you thus falling behind professionally. Corruption seems so ramped of date, in large part because it is, and thanks in greater part to the media and the mass of news we are attributed to every day. Most news is bad news anymore because it is what the media chooses to sell and it is what we choose to watch. Because of this, we are made increasingly aware of financial moral corruption daily. However, as of late there is a slow growing resurgence of the opposite spectrum rumbling beneath the professional world. Increasingly we are witnessing those who lie, cheat, embezzle, and participate in otherwise less ethical practices being held responsible for their actions. For example, in the case of the AIG officers and their hundred million dollars of bonuses after continuing to let the international company flounder, the government’s retributive action was to tax those bonuses up to 90%. While the recipients of the bonuses were definitely not deserving since the company had continued to suffer 97% losses, the thought of the government imposing nearly a 100% tax of anyone’s income that they choose is terrifying to say the least. Another spark for moral hope is the case of Rod Blagojevich, wherein he, the former Governor of Illinois was indicted for trying to sell Barack Obama’s seat in the U.S. Senate to the highest bidder. Though, he was eventually rightfully indicted I will remind you again, that both of these stories of retribution to the morally corrupt were brought into the limelight by the media initially in a negative sense. This, of course, supports my previous argument that the media feeds us a constant barrage of negativity.


title... Who Feeds Who? dimensions... 25.5”x43” technique... Plasma TV, Mirror date... 2009

Part Four: Who Feeds Who? Next time you fear the economy. Next time you can’t stand one more second of election coverage. Next time you are goaded into a preventative war. Next time you call Britney a whore. Next time you hate a commercial. When you want to despise Fox news or MSNBC’s views. Next time you want to support our troops. Next time you want to bitch about Bush and Iraq. Next time you curse a McDonald’s burger for making you fat. Next time you see a man go on a killing spree for a little recognition. Next time you get into a staring contest with a television. Ask the television, “Who feeds who?” There will be a response, but not from you.


title...Jeffersonian . dimensions...15”x26.6” 6” .

technique...Maya, Illustrator, Photoshop . date...2009


Part Eight: Jeffersonian. What we as people are willing to do is complain. It seems, though, that we for the most part, are not willing to change. Americans are quick to project our societal problems on others, especially those with, power, fame, or fortune. However, ours is a culture and a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is the people, in which the government reflects. It is the people, in which the media reflects. It is the people, who empower the powerful, the famous, and the rich. It is the people, who are most unwilling to restore our values, common sense, awareness, and our common decency in exchange for less of anything than we are accustomed. Common sense and common decency were titled as such because they used to be common: meaning that most people shared the same lines of thought and values. Today the common is much more skewed. It is unclear if the reason is due to a higher population and thus a higher number of people who live outside the norm. It is possible that we have been led to believe that it is wrong to do anything less than accept the minority or the minatory views or actions. Groups like the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) impose acceptance of every type of minority they can get their hands on. Today they can degrade those they claim to serve more than help them by endorsing their cases with questionable celebrity “leaders” like Jesse Jackson, dragging out painful or embarrassing issues for years on end in the national spotlight, and by bullying their way around the system and punishing those who may not be guilty of any crime at all. Attacking with slander and strong accusations of intolerance and/or seeking punitive measures against anyone who might oppose their “all-encompassing” views, but tolerance means that you just put up with something, not that you have to accept someone else’s beliefs or ways as your own. Just because a person or group is a minority or has minority belief system or lifestyle does mean that we all have to accept that lifestyle as the correct one for everyone, but we should try to be tolerant of anyone’s beliefs or lifestyle that does not negatively affect our own. I do doubt that the minority “bad” values such as those of people who lie, cheat, steal, abuse drugs and alcohol and so on and so forth, are the cause of the decline in our societies common sense. Though it has become much more common to idolize those types of personas through the media whom subtly suggest to represent them in a “negative” sense. Debauched lifestyles are made widely and easily acceptable usually in the form of celebrities. Such as Paris Hilton, who exemplifies to young adolescents that being a spoiled slut bitch is a popular thing, or 50 Cent who leads young males to believe that the only way to be a man is to protect your rep at any cost, to murder at will, and that money is the pinnacle of life. The most likely possibility of why our common senses have been skewed is a combination of the previously stated, time, and consumerism. Consumerism is, once again, the base. Consumerism and the attempt to reach the consumer is the driving force behind the media, which tries exponentially harder to grab attention at any cost other than offending the consumer. This fact has brought nearly all common persons almost on a face-to-face level with the events and personas of a despicable nature previously unheard of in our country. Commercials, news, and television programming constantly try to one up yesterday’s last big thing to grab attention and in doing so sometimes degrade previous boundaries for what is seen as acceptable values. Nevertheless, this too is the fault of the consumer, for it is the consumer who will or will not support


those who degrade the boundaries. If supported, then obviously the media will soon need to one up themselves again and further degrade our boundaries in search of continued support. I believe that time is a periodical, natural degrader of common sense or values of societies. History attributes to us a witness of the natural ebb and flow of civilizations and the societies that are crated therein. Prior to the World Wars America’s values were not far from where they are now. Political corruption was common. Gangsters such as Dillinger and Capone were notorious celebrities fueled in large part by the media. The economy was falling into shambles after a few decades of prosperity, and it was fairly common for people to take part more questionable activities such as prostitution or liberal sex (flappers), drug use, and illegal alcohol use. After the World Wars, the less than two thirds of the people who returned home knew that they were lucky to do so, and were thankful for their life and their fellow Americans. This generation was much more willing to do an honest days work for less pay and to support American made products if even at a higher cost. The generation that was born from them, the baby boomers, not having faced such a great hardship, once again quickly returned to liberal drug use, sex, and less moral behavior. Now, that the World War generation is almost completely passed on, our society is led by consumers with self in mind. The majority of people won’t think twice to buy foreign goods at Wal-Mart to save some money. We’ll pay hundreds of millions of dollars to see ultra-violence and gore in slow motion and impeccable detail at the box office and at home. Cinderella has been replaced with the Girls Next Door. We’ll justify a “preventative” war and send our friends and children to ensure the continuation of our oil supplies. (Let’s face it the Middle East would have 0 strategic value if there was no oil there.) Our leaders will give us break after easy break at the expense of future generations in the form of programs and agendas such as Social Security and Economic Stimulus’s. Selfishness, selfishness, selfishness… And when will it end? Who knows? Will we have to face another worldwide war with millions upon millions of casualties and horrific suffering to realize the value of our neighbor’s life? Will we have to succumb to an international government and a world wide social system that is largely incomprehensible to us now? Will our country crumble under an economic stress spectre or a following revolution? I hope that prior to a societal crushing event Americans will take a look in the mirror. Hopefully, we can realize soon that most of us wear masks to protect our conscious from our actions. We should soon hang up our charlatans within and return to the common sense of Americans.


detail...Jeffersonian . date...2009


title...Jeffersonian test backgrounds

. date...2009


Solitical Artist Statement Solitical is a collection of pieces exemplifying several of the major social and political problems of our contemporary American nation. It examines the gross domestic psyche of average Americans; Their interconnected values, actions, negligences, and consequences therein. The imagery is straightforward and crisp while creating many underlying congruent themes connecting one to the whole. These themes are naturally reoccurring. It has long been known but periodically, conveniently ignored that there are major “good” value or behavior traits amongst societies/cultures which we are guided to follow by examples given to us by history and consequences of (previous) human choices and actions. These normally are handed down through generations by means of religious teachings, myths, stories, fairy tales, fables, lullabies, etc. There seems to be a natural ebb and flow to the adherence of these good values amongst societies across the plain of time. Individual humans make individual choices, which tend to simultaneously follow and create a collective value trend amongst a societal whole. In terms of contemporary America, the trend appears to be less adherent to what we once believed to be good values. The trend has been on a mostly downward slope since the World Wars, which snapped the American society out of the previous behavior trench of the early 1900’s. It seems the generation who lived through World War I and II were the last to predominately act upon these important values of which our nation was built. Since then self-centeredness, selfishness, and excess have slowly replaced brotherhood, community, conscientiousness, and diligence. While I initially planned to address these downfalls individually per piece, I quickly found that they are naturally intertwined. For example the piece “I Want It All” with a childlike bunny both seeing and dreaming about the potential of material wealth that life could one day hold naturally foreshadows the selfishness or excess that is evident in every other piece. The carelessness in “Xanax Nation” is more obvious but is an underlying, united trait that stems into the major themes of the all the pieces. You may be asking “Why the bunnies?” The answer lies both with my objectives and my development of style. As a graffiti artist I quickly questioned the necessity to follow the crowd with tags, bombs, and 3-D pieces solely made up of a persons name. Obviously there are plenty of graffers out there that do pieces with figures in them, but the only artist out of millions that I can name who doesn’t feel required to slap a tag in every single piece is Seak. He has a style so unique a tag isn’t necessary. This is a major goal of mine, so I’ve left the tag behind and brought in the figures in the form of cartoon characters. Previously I didn’t hesitate to use whatever type of animal I chose, but for this show, being as confrontational as it is meant to be, I did not want the issue of race to be incorrectly interpreted or associated with differing types of animals, so I used only bunnies. The bunnies also allow me to make a single figure representative of all people, whereas if I used a human figure it, the viewer automatically interprets the figure as someone else. That would be detrimental to my goal of introspection on the part of the viewer. Yes, this show is about you and me and how we all need a realistic perspective of what we are doing as a nation and a culture. How we have come to define freedom and liberty. How we need to act if we are to keep freedom and liberty. We need to consider the costs and consequences if we are to keep on our current path of imperialism, spending and borrowing, and lesser personal values. We are a collective of bunnies. Finally, I would like to thank my family, friends, and Ang for all of their positive input and eternal support. Thanks also to John Gee, without you I’d be voiceless and talentless. Thanks to Daim and Heist, two Da Vinci’s of graffiti. Thanks to God, he is in all of us and we are in him. He won’t judge you, you’ll judge yourself.


Background I came up with the title Solitical quite simply. Often when I was in the beginning stages of realizing the show as a whole, people would ask me what it was going to be about. As if the show were unquestionably preordained to be a visual novel of some kind, I of course had a well-recited answer. “It is going to be a show about the social and political fallacies of our country.” I would usually leave it at that. The point is I eventually said social and political so many times in the same sentence that I just came to call the show Solitical. You must understand that my dear mother who I would never speak negatively about tends, no, constantly asks so many questions about any and everything (and usually in repetition) that word condensing and cutting out altogether is quite fundamental to my mental well being. Beyond my personal tribulations, I do have serious reservations about the direction in which our society has been heading. Solitical is a collection of pieces exemplifying several of the major social and political problems of our contemporary American nation. It examines the gross domestic psyche of average Americans: their interconnected values, actions, negligences, and consequences therein. I first heard the term gross domestic psyche when watching Bill Moyer interview an easy speaking gentleman, Andrew Bacevich. Colonel Bacevich ingeniously examined our American society with a term he calls the gross domestic psyche. Like a gross domestic product, a nations psyche can be measured by its actions, policies, fears, and desires as a whole. He explained that: Our foreign policy is not something simply concocted by people in Washington D.C. and imposed on us. Our foreign policy is something that is concocted in Washington D.C., but it reflects the perceptions of our political elite about what we want, we the people want… we want this unending line of credit. (A. Bacevich) I was completely flabbergasted as I heard this! He was exactly right and shed a magnitude of parallels into my existing points of view. Though Bacevich tends to focus more on foreign policy and consumerism, I realized that this concept of self-neglifying indulgences applies to more spectrums of our society: all of them. Listening to this, I screamed aloud to my inattentive cats, “This is exactly what my show is about!” And it was. The more pieces I would work into the more I began to realize their central congruent factor: selfishness. The American psyche has become laden with a dominating concern for self. My art attempts to blatantly tackle many individual fallacies, once commonly referred to as sins, which are presently commonplace in our society: obesity, greed, abortion, sloth, drug abuse, and so on. Interestingly, though, as I would be working on any given one of these pieces I would inevitably see selfishness resurfacing alongside the intended fallacy. It wasn’t even half-way through completion of the show that I realized that this would be the interconnecting factor to all of the pieces regardless of any compositional or visual elements. Selfishness has become America’s connecting factor, an inbred downfall summarizing our cultural heritage of a great and lustrous capitalist society. I am not being cynical about capitalism. I feel that our current understanding and respect or regard for interpersonal relations as a communal planetary life form are well necessitated by the laws of capitalist economics. That is, it is probably the best way for the most individuals to experience some sort of liberty. For example, in China, which claims to be a communist country, wherein by the nature of the meaning of communism, an equal paying job would be required of each individual based on his or her suitable talents. Regardless, though, the Chinese economy has almost naturally evolved into a commonly capitalist workforce. Capitalism seems to be the nature of the economic world at present, because it is the best possible solution for a world of beings concerned primarily with self-sustentation. While there are many of those who fear everyday we grow closer to a return to a system that resembles old feudality or dictatorship wherein a select few would harshly control all, leaving us, the little people forced into a system of servitude or death. I do not necessarily fear this at present. The laws of capitalism allow that select few to harbor their control while allowing the rest of us a notion of individual freedom. Essentially, it is that hope


among the masses which retains the order and balance of the societies on which said select few thrive. The problem with American capitalism is not that of abused rules and regulations and big corporate greed as many like to place blame on such. It is with Americans (as a whole) mutated ideals of freedom and liberty and attainment of happiness, not just the ideals of the politician, the rich, the powerful, or the famous, but those especially of the common person in America. We are a nation for the people and by the people. Our reflected ideals are of the people. In addition, we have become as Charles Maier of Harvard University coined, “an empire of consumption”. No longer is our nation a democracy of productive people, but now an empire led by attainment: led by personal want. How many Americans remember why our ancestors pursued freedom: one quarter: less? How many care? Most of us learn these things in grade school, but how long has it been since our society has really remembered, stopped and considered or appreciated why? What did freedom mean to those who left Europe into wilderness? What did liberty mean to them? What should it mean to us now? What will be the costs to our nation in the future if we are to continue to ignore and not carefully consider our personal actions and more importantly the impacts of those actions? At this time these tough questions seem so far away from our gross domestic psyche, but sooner more likely than later they will be confronted. I believe and hope we are growing close to that time now. An event will be necessary to bring about this confrontation. I sincerely hope that this “wake up call” will not have to be as horrific as the last: the World Wars. Whether the rest of the world grows intolerant of our overloaded consumption or our own government regulates us to death to retain that consumption we so desire, we will find that our current ideology is unsustainable. Our Ideology (featured with previous images) Evaluation: (In order of completion) The imagery of the overall show is straightforward and crisp while creating many underlying congruent themes always connecting a single piece to the whole. These themes are naturally reoccurring. It has long been known but periodically, conveniently ignored that there are major “good” value or behavior traits amongst societies/cultures which we are guided to follow by examples given to us by history and consequences of (previous) human choices and actions. These normally are handed down through generations by means of religious teachings, myths, stories, fairy tales, fables, lullabies, etc. There seems to be a natural ebb and flow to the adherence of these good values amongst societies across the plain of time. Individual humans make individual choices, which tend to simultaneously follow and create a collective value trend amongst a societal whole. This show is connected as whole by the observation of the breaking away from our good societal values. The pieces are visually interconnected by the artist’s adherence to the use of characters as symbols for Americans harmonized with graffiti stylings, elements, or influences upon a fine art platform. The Christmas Gift: 15.5” x 22” I did this piece in the midst of the Bush Administration’s Bailout of AIG, which was originally supposed to be a sum of $75bn dollars, but ended up surpassing the $700bn mark in the short time it took the bill to pass. At the time, I was finding out what I could about the possible consequences of the bailout to our economy. I was especially concerned with inflation, secondly government control of the private sector, thirdly corporate irresponsibility.


I studied Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve. I learned that he is a economic genius, but geniuses can lack in common sense. One of his core beliefs is that inflation is a tool to pay off government debts or deficits. This is true; inflation is the greatest tax we the citizens will pay. Inflation of the dollar could and should come soon from all the extra money that is flooding the system in the forms of “economic” bailouts and stimuli. The government is creating money out of thin air and giving it to everyone, and soon we will be left with too much money for too few of goods and services = inflation. In the piece, you see the symbolic Bunnies, printing and impatiently taking cash; stepping on any average Bunny in their way. The Bunnies in charge are wearing elephant masks symbolizing their involvement or close ties to the government, namely republicans, who led the charge for the planning and passage of the first bailout with the approval of the Democratic majority House and Senate. Now that the Dems are running the whole show in Washington, the piece would need to change to reflect some new events in policy. The No Middle Class sign would be removed or covered slightly, and everyone would be taking fresh printed money marching around in circles going nowhere. Perhaps stepping on a sacrificial lamb representative of those with high affiliations, like the AIG executives who are now in hot water for accepting large bonuses after the bailouts. Regardless of who is getting free money the other side of these bailouts and stimuli have peeked their heads out. The government is governing the private sector; determining ethics, fairness, CEO salaries, bonuses, and so on. Sometimes it becomes a labyrinth trying to tell whether the government is steering the media or vice versa, but either way public opinion of a certain company can drop immediately when either side says so; along with it the companies profits and future. In addition, the recent meeting of the G-20 is a public exemplification that our governments are not afraid to say that they are in control or would like to be in control of our economies.

Xanax Nation: 30” x 40” In the sketching out of this piece, I began to have serious reconsiderations about the “look” of my entire show and how it is going to reflect upon me. I fell into a staring contest with the large Bunny who is all fucked up on pills with a broken cigarette hanging from his mouth, and I lost. I began to worry very heavily if the people who respect, or try to respect, me would see this as an admiration in myself towards drug abuse (the Bunny) and illegal activity (the graffiti style). At this point, I was very, very close to scrapping the entire show and starting in a new direction. However, a major career goal of mine is to distance graffiti from its stereotypical norms. Obviously, in most instances it is illegal and for good reason. There is no argument for that. Too often, a young bomber will hit double digit places in a single night with a five minute or less tag because they assume that someone other than themselves care. They piss paint on anything old or new without much deliberation like a dog. Though, there are many of us who could give a shit less about the imaginary sets and reps. Many of us are beyond that and aspire to a higher level of intention. Increasingly, we are seeing less tags and more pieces, solo characters, and even pure scenes. Whether or not this is the direction, which graffiti should go, and what constitutes a graffiti artist or piece is being argued and has yet to be solved. In my years of doing both illegal and legal pieces and tags, I have witnessed two common factors which keep the graffiti scene in motion, alive, and relevant. First, is the rush; even if you are a stenciler you know what I’m talking about. Second, and most importantly, is the personal accomplishment. This is why graffiti artists anywhere are the most valuable artists on the planet, hands down. The prime nature of the action is art with no expectant. A graffiti artist 99% of the time sets out to accomplish an artistic expression on personal will and finance, and often is expecting the piece to roll away to never be seen again except by others. This is why I am passionate about the era of graffiti. If I expect to be in a position to close the gap between the money hungry art world and the grimy graffiti world I will have to break conventions and gain prominence in both. Therefore, I kept detailing the piece. I added more characters and complexity, which the piece sorely needed, and slowly became more at


home with it. I knew I needed a Patriotic color palette to coincide with the theme of the piece, so I decided to use Conor Harrington’s color palette from several paintings I saw in an issue of Juxtapoz magazine. Harrington’s work deals with the imperial relationship between graffiti and the Napoleonic era. Though intentionally more international, this particular color palette comes across to me as American/Patriotic. At this point I decided to leave the large, high Bunny in place but it was not an easy decision, much like that of keeping a habit. I also decided to do the intended American Flag backdrop backwards with dark instead of light stripes. I liked working in these colors so much I decided to do a companion piece in the same palette but not a diptych. Xanax Nation will be bluer while the companion will be redder so as to not make them look too much alike. I chose more blue for Xanax, because of the street name of the drug, and because of the downing effect the drug induces. I also learned an important lesson about repetitive character drawing with this piece. It is best to start with a more simplified character that can be complicated in other situations if necessary, but if you begin with a detailed character and try to simplify later you tend to end up looking lazy and cheap. I Want It All: 30” x 40” I was writing about “The Christmas Gift” when I came up with the concept for this piece. It will be shorter to just write my entry rather here than to explain it: So now, it is like racketeering where the government will protect entities from harsh public opinion as long as the entity does as it is told. So, who is right? Neither it’s wrong for the government to get involved in a free capitalist system. But it is also wrong for a corporation to accept a $100bn and buy the boss a $50mn private jet with taxpayer’s money. The punishment should come from the people. We should boycott these businesses to show our disapproval. But we are too dependent (we think) or ignorant as a societal whole to just stop going to a certain business. Our society is weak. I can do my companion piece about this and call it: The Boycott Starts Tomorrow Consumer Nation Consumer Dependency Let’s Go Shopping Shoppaholics I Want It All Looking at this list of concepts you can see how my line of thinking reached this point. The title is actually a Warren G song. To me the song is a prime example of the materialistic lust that we often harbor. The scene is a young Bunny taking in a grand scene, perhaps for the first memorable time. There is more foreshadowing in this piece than observing of fallacies. The Bunny is innocent and full of dreams, but too easily, those dreams can be irrevocably driven to material wealth. As far as the Bunnies go I began to realize they are two dimensional for a reason. They are fake, yet unable to see it for themselves. They exist in an apparently real, 3-dimensional world, which in no way represents the real world. Madonna and Child: 20” x 16” I failed many times working to get a craquelure affect in order to make this piece look old. I almost gave up, but eventually I persevered. At


this time, I was looking at the work of Japanese artist Ryohei Hase. He has several spectacular bunny pieces. His Bunnies are quite realistic imagistically. I didn’t necessarily want a hyper-realistic Madonna Bunny because it could disingenuate this piece from the rest. Yet, I did want a Bunny with a bit more depth than the 2-D norm I had been working with. To achieve that balance of flatness and depth is one of the top reasons I chose to do medieval style piece. Though, I did come up with the overall concept and imagistic ideals for the piece the year before. The idea had been kneading in my mind for the time being. For example, I was initially going to do the piece with a real human male drawn from a life model for the Madonna, and possibly a cat or television or something of this nature for the Child. The main concept was always a fat Madonna (with a Child), though. During creation, it was becoming obviously apparent to me that the allegorical use of animals and cartoon characters is widespread throughout all social classes of art and has been on the increase for the past couple of years. I’m not sure why that is. I know in my own work, I was not consciously copying any artist when I first used the characters in my pieces (except for the characters themselves which I began drawing from cheap coloring books). I just liked the cuteness of the characters amongst the “evil” associated with graffiti. Once I put the two together, the animals immediately assumed that evil in a naturally sinister fashion.

Change! Got Any Change?: 22” x 16” Conceptually these two pieces were probably the toughest to move forward on. Initially I planned to call this piece The Illusion of the Middle Class. It was to be centered on this sort-of conspiracy type idea of the ultra-rich and more importantly, ultra-powerful elite who govern and control the rest of the world. I began to have notions this conspiracy theory might become apparent to the public when the economy collapses, which certain analysts such as, Noriel Rabini were predicting and still do. I daydreamed about the chaos of society when people of average means could no longer use their cars because there was no oil or it was too expensive. I thought about our America and the current urban landscape in ruins like those I’ve seen of ancient Rome. Initially, I planned to photograph and re-draw a busy city scene with all of the people going about their daily tasks (as Bunnies of course), but the city itself, the cars, buses, buildings, bridges, etc. would be absent or in ruins- The Illusion of the Middle Class. I still think this is a good concept for a piece in the future, but for some reason I had a real urge to re-think the project. I considered using a sketch or rough style drawing or something with sharp black and white contrasts, but still nothing was really turning me on. Over a dinner with Angie, we discussed the problem in depth, and what aspects I was not completely comfortable with. We had a strong brainstorming session and came up with a stronger concept, which was more adherent to the political undertones of the rest of the Solitical show. We decided to do a two part piece in very close relation to one another by concept and reflective in composition. The concept for the first piece was to show the irony of the Obama election campaign versus his short time as president thus far. The irony being that his entire campaign was centered around a need for change in Washington and somewhat amongst average Americans, and that was what he was going to do: change things. Yet, his very first action in office was an exact replica of Bush’s last action: to hurriedly push the single largest domestic spending bill of our nation’s history through the House and Senate. Also, in his inaugural address Obama called on the people themselves to change. In underlying tones he asked that people be ready to take pay cuts if necessary for job survival (namely union workers), to try to break addictions to common energy consumption (green practices at home and use of mass transit, etc. when possible), and he warned of tough times now to save face for future generations. Yet, I, a minimum wage worker, have received a large pay increase apparently due to tax cuts while the government is spending now more than ever. Therefore, in the piece President Obama is standing on a busy sidewalk begging for change with a gold challis. The Bunnies are going about their usual business, ignoring the President. No longer do they listen to his call for change. The background is inspired by elaborate, expensive, and


overly colossal neoclassical elements that resemble the buildings of the National Mall. I was very excited to fuse architectural elements into graffiti styling. I have never personally seen anything like this yet in the graffiti art world. I will likely build upon this fusion in later work. I think the look and composition of the piece is strong yet unique in that it breaks common compositional tendencies in several ways with regards to weight, depth, and placement of elements; like a monumental entrance hanging over the viewer, while the entire piece is grounded by the street scene and its perspective. The color palette is my own. It is taken from real life. I used stark lights and dark blue and ochre shadows to resemble a strong afternoon sunlight source. This is to punctuate the rich white marble architectural forms. In the second piece or part, which I like to call the Jesus Piece, I used softer, warm tones to contrast the stark cools of the Obama Piece. Here I turned to the Gothic style to contrast the wild Neoclassical of the Obama Piece. I enjoyed the Gothic process even more. It has more possibilities with my usual drawing style. The Gothic seemed to lend itself to a wider array of interpretations and curvatures making the design process more fluid. In working on these pieces, I have begun to see the places where I can strengthen my style in the future. I am excited about the idea of working without such rigid deadlines in my personal art with hopes of digging in deeply into more detailed pieces. At this point, I have so many ideas, possibilities, and directions in which I want to attempt, I am foreseeing it becoming overwhelming. I fear heading in a single direction due to the loss of the other possible directions I am contemplating. As for the concept of the Jesus Piece, the irony shifts from the protagonist to the extras. Jesus was not a man of riches and instead asked followers to give riches up. Yet, he is still backed by the immense wealth and power of his followers and proclaimed faithful. I often fantasize about Jesus in our contemporary world, what his role would be, and how he would be viewed today. He too, is calling for change from the people, but no one cares to listen.

Who Feeds Who?: 25.5” x 43” This piece is a monumental success conceptually. Initially I was going to do a simple black mat on a non-imaged all black piece. Upon viewing this piece, the viewer would see only their reflection in a frame, thus witnessing themselves as the main character in one of my pieces; insisting the call for self-reflection and change within. Then I began to consider ways in which the rest of the world views Americans along with how we view ourselves. I decided there is more to this issue, so subsequently there should be more to this piece. I often feel that the media has an equally large part as the people in the societal problems of our nation. I love our nation and its people, but the people’s response to the media reflects our image and values as a whole to the rest of the world and ourselves. Unfortunately, we often do not accept the reflection. Jeffersonian: 15” x 26.66” Among the completion of this piece, I was concerned about the reception to the technical gap between the drawing of the figures in Photoshop and the environment, which was done in Maya. It is an apparent technical gap, which could cause poor reception towards the artistry of the piece, and while I am able to render the figures in Photoshop to a point where they would seamlessly exist in the 3-dimensional environment, I intended on this separation to lend itself to the purposeful lightheartedness of the piece. After showing a number of other animation artists with varying ranges of skills in the Maya program, digital media, and/or animation, I was very pleased with their reception…laughter. This piece, like most of my work, is at its core satirical and lighthearted. This piece, though, is meant to be exceptionally both and a bit more. In the image, the dead hanging from the spikes are metaphorical representations of deteriorations in important individual aspects, traits, or virtues of Americans. At the conception of this piece, I was so pissed at the first few people and their actions or what they represent that I just had to put their heads on spikes. It’s sort of a joke…


sort of. The ancient Assyrians used to put the heads of their enemies and those they conquered on spikes along the roads leading to and from their towns to remind those who pass not to cross them. In this same sense, Americans need to examine what facets of their life could be enriched by reevaluation and hang up the aspects, which the individual knows to be self-destructive. The qualities I decided to represent were blatant consumerism, political deception by public appeasement (social security, nationalized health care, etc.), disingenuous misleading, political power grabbing, sole concern for self-sustainment, lust, and materialism. I feel the piece is doubly ironic in that back in the days of the colonials and Thomas Jefferson, it was widely accepted that hanging, duals, and death by the sword were commonly tolerated with little just cause when compared to today’s standards. However, we today, would think of these people as more proper and refined than ourselves. Yet, I can’t even hang this piece in an art gallery without absolute approval from several sides because its violent nature may offend some poor passerby. Other Technical Considerations: I chose colored pencils as the primary medium for most of the pieces because I they are what I would use if doing sketches for tags or murals. Many graffiti artists tend to use ink and markers in their blackbooks (or sketches), but I find the pencils much more crisp if I need them to be. Also, they are easier to control in terms of color blending and smoothing. Plus, colored pencils can be mixed well with other mediums and techniques to create any number of unique effects. For example, the skies in the Change! pieces were feathered out with tissues to create an atmospheric haze. I never constricted myself to colored pencils alone, though. At times when necessary, I didn’t hesitate to use or experiment with other mediums to achieve the exact effects I saw in my mind. Which brings me to another point. I have found there are two primary ways in which I come up with artworks. First, and usually the most difficult to execute, is conceptually. I will be affected by something in my environment. It could be a comment I hear and want to react to, or something I see, or an event or action by someone else or myself. Whatever the stimulus, my reaction will result in a conceptual idea for a piece with many different possible ways to represent the rebuttal visually. Then I may spend days, weeks, or even years with the piece on my mind until I find a strong enough form of representation to suit the idea in a piece of art. Examples of these would be I Want It All and Madonna and Child. The second way I come up with a piece would be intuitively. Many times I will immediately see a visual idea or a necessary composition in my head. This is much easier. The only problem to solve on these types of ideas is how (through media) to execute the piece to achieve the visual image I already have in mind. Jeffersonian is a perfect example of this. I knew the image I wanted immediately and it was then a matter of how to best create the environment and the characters within. For future works, at this point, I have both kinds of ideas pending. I would like to do many different things. One idea is to step totally away from the graffiti style to do an entire show about cancer. I recently lost a great friend of mine, Janie Carter, to cancer, and it has been the cause of death for both of my grandfathers (and probably myself one day.) The show would not be any sort of typical benefit, necessarily. It would simply be empathetic to those who have lost their lives and the lives of their loved ones to the natural cause. The show would be imagistically realistic, no graffiti environments because that would not relate to Janie’s life, probably done in colored pencil, egg tempera, or oil paints. I believe this show would be incredibly strong and very sad, but not necessarily depressing images; more reflective of life before death and approaching death. Several images are in my mind, but I’ll keep them to myself until I discuss it with her family. Another set of intuitive images I really want to do (for fun) is a Candy Show. The emphasis would be white or luministic backgrounds highlighting bright colored objects such as Starburst, wet Tootsie Pops, or Sunkist cans. The pieces would be quite large with very few objects, maybe only one per canvas. I think I would use oil or acrylic paints for this set. These are meant to be visually fun, energetic, possibly inspiring. I like fun


art. I think too often people go dark and dingy in their art without having just cause to do so. I mean look at how troubled the subjects of my Solitical Show are, and yet I kept many of the pieces bright and clean with humorous activities sprinkled throughout. I’ve also been tossing around the idea of doing “fine art” pieces on trains. Wouldn’t be awe inspiring to see a train roll in front of your car with an immaculate Botticelli, Thomas Cole, or even Ray Johnson on it! This could throw the fine art world and graffiti world together for good or bring art interest closer those releasing their creativity on the streets. Or it could just be another piece of illegal graffiti. I have more ideas and media I want to do, such as digital and 3-D work, but that is all I will discuss for now. Summary While any given viewer is face to face with my work, I hope they feel some sort of uneasiness. This confrontation is the expected result of the messages illustrated. Instead, as I have reiterated before, I assume like most Americans, the viewer will in varying degrees not understand, accept, or reflect their role in the work and the message. The observations I have made about our contemporary American psyche are many and complexly intertwined. From childhood, we are attributed to the lives of the wealthy and powerful, not so different from children all over the world. The American experience, however, commonly leads us to believe that a life of wealth and luxury or power is the best life possible, and is an entitlement if only for some sacrifice. Often, rather than work for what we know is fair or decent, we decide to ignore our inner consciences to gain what we believe others did not have to work hard for. The spreading practice of this moral disregard has lead to increasing financial and political corruption. While others tend to stray to drug abuse, partying, sex, false relationships, or other over indulgences to fill this “tragic gap”. The mutation of the American dream has centered around a single fallacy core: selfishness. Selfishness is the coin in our pocket which, so many Americans are trained to carry foremost yet can never admit to having. In many instances, more so as of late, selfishness is traded for pride. Americans of relatively average financial means are taking on an irresponsible or endless lines of credit to feel equal with those of greater wealth. Politicians, of course, provide a façade for the masses. In exchange for personal satisfaction, fame, or underhanded fortune, politicians often incite immediate action based on the public’s desires, resulting in over regulation, ballooning government size or control, and even deploying our militaries to ensure our constant security of consumption. And though, we used to fear monopolies, today’s businesses consume everything, even their creators, until they seem too big to cease to exist. At the foundation of our solitical system is the average American, feeling the growing tensions as though they are at the base of it all, while expecting to be above it all, wondering why our society seems to be slipping slowly away.


title...Triacanthos

. technique...Corel Draw . date...2010


title...Eddison . technique...Maya, Photoshop, After Effects . date...2009


title...PCHS Amphitheater Architectural Render

. technique...Maya, Photoshop, After Effects . date...2009


title...Girl Scout Headquarters Architectural Render

. technique...Maya, Photoshop, After Effects . date...2008


title...Rosemary Combine . technique...Photoshop . date...2005


title...Rosemary Combine . technique...Photoshop . date...2005


title...Rosemary Combine . technique...Photoshop . date...2005


title...Rosemary Combine . technique...Photoshop . date...2005


title...Spurter

. technique...Illustrator, Photoshop . date...2009


title...Smiley 3D Test Layout

. technique...Maya, Illustrator, Photoshop . date...2010


title...Sunbeam Clock Face Recreation dimensions...14.5”x14.5” technique...Digital Image Printed on Clear Laminate Vinyl date...2010


title...2 Minute Brush Sketches dimensions...20”x10” technique...Ink date...2004


title...Conceptual Main Character Sketches for Film “One Night Only”

technique...Graphite

.

date...2009


title...Leonardo DaVinci Study dimensions...12”x9” technique...Graphite date...2004


title...Tupac Study dimensions...24”x18” technique...Graphite date...2004


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title...Fleshscape

.................................title...Light Study ................................title...Brimstone .

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technique...Colored Pencil

technique...Colored Pencil technique...Crayon, Oil Pastel

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date...2004

date...2004

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date...2004


title...3 Piece Fantasy dimensions...72”x30” (Approx.) technique...Colored Pencil date...2004


title...3 Piece Anatomical dimensions...36â&#x20AC;?x24â&#x20AC;? technique...Colored Pencil date...2004


title...Inside Outside dimensions...30â&#x20AC;?x36â&#x20AC;? technique... Watercolor, Colored Pencil date...2006 ..........................>

title...Rosenquistian technique... Watercolor, Colored Pencil date...2006 <..........................


title...Nur-Al-Din

.

dimensions...11”x36”

.

technique...Colored Pencil

.

date...2007


title...Popeye “The Slanger Man”

.

dimensions...12”x17”

.

technique...Ink, Colored Pencil

.

date...2007


title...Graffik Styles on USA Today

detail...Untitled

.

.

technique...Mixed Media

technique...Mixed Media

.

.

date...2006

date...2007 ......................................................................>


title...Slop (triptych)

.

dimensions...24”x33”

. technique...Spray Paint and Marker On Inkjet Photos date...2008

.


title...Ready To Live dimensions...24”x18” technique...Ink, Marker date...2007


title...Entropy

.

dimensions...12”x17”

.

technique...Ink, Colored Pencil

.

date...2007


title...Smiley dimensions...33”x30” technique...Ink, Spray Paint date...2010


Originally, Marilynn Derwensksus started the painting. Upon her retirement we helped her empty out her downtown studio before she moved to Chicago and she gave almost all of her work to us. She mentioned that the works on these particular canvases were unfinished sketches, which another artist had convinced her to include in a show. From what I remember these sketches were cumulative collages from images or memories of a recent trip or her many travels to Italy. I think she gave away six or eight of them to various students encouraging us to reuse the canvas or paint over them if desired. I quickly chose this particular sketch for its composition and mysterious nature. I liked how the pillar on the left enclosed the scene while adding an unbalanced 2-D border uncommon to artworks. Most of all I liked the lone figure staring off into a open landscape. Many of my own works containing human figures leave them solitary, so I guess I had sort of immediate connection to this piece. It wasn’t until about six months later that I actually decided how to work back into it. It had been too long since I had done anything involving a good amount of spray paint and I was itching to get some cans back in my hands before I went cold. I chose to try to match the skills of one of my first strong graffiti inspirations, a piece I came across and photographed one day while walking the tracks of Dunkirk. The piece was a true blue gem by a legend in the game, Heist. He was the king of Toledo, Ohio and pretty much the upper Midwest. He was a central figure in founding the RA Crew. I’ve seen him doing whole cars, and not those short subway cars. I’m talking entire freights, top to bottom, side to side! He passed away years ago, but before he did, he was known to do at least 10 pieces a week! Rest in peace Heist and thank you for inspiring me and perpetuating the Midwest’s influence on the New English. Looking at the completed painting, “New English”, now I think that it is a great examination of the differences and commonalities between two generations of artists. Marilynn was practicing during the periods of Abstract Expressionism, Neo-Expressionism, Pop Art, Op Art, and so on, with influences from movements of the earlier 1900’s such as Abstraction, Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Dada, and Surrealism. In complete contradiction, Heist and my generation of graffiti artists have widely ignored the traditional artistic heritage and its recent barrage of movements in exchange for a self-satisfying culture which may not-so-ironically come to be viewed in the future as the most influential artistic movement in centuries. Yet amidst this huge gap in artistic background I think the piece holds together well while speaking volumes both conceptually and visually to the passing of the torch to a new set of artists and the remembrance of those who have come before us.


title...New English

.

dimensions...48”x96”

.

technique...Oil Pastel, Spray Paint

.

date...2008


(previous page) title...Shit on a Shingle

.

title...Street-Art Transitions (Triptych)

technique...Oil, Spray Paint (Pressed on Paper), Epoxy

.

dimensions...15”x48”

.

.

date...2007

technique...Oil, Marker . date...2007 ............................................................................>


title...Project with Dan Addington dimensions...36”x24” technique...Coffee, Wood Putty, Tar date...2008


title...Smiley dimensions...33”x30” technique...Ink, Spray Paint date...2010


title...The Fair

.

dimensions...48”x96”

.

technique...Spray Paint, Colored Pencil

.

date...2007


title...Falling Stars dimensions...144”x86” technique...Ink, Spray Paint date...2007


title...Phantom

.

dimensions...28â&#x20AC;?x32â&#x20AC;?

.

technique...Watercolor

.

date...2008


title...Solflowers

.

dimensions...28â&#x20AC;?x32â&#x20AC;?

.

technique...Watercolor

.

date...2008


title...XciteBike dimensions...12â&#x20AC;?x24â&#x20AC;? technique...Watercolor date...2008 <...................................


title...Splash dimensions...12”x24” technique...Watercolor, Colored Pencil date...2008 <...................................

title...Splatterhead dimensions...12”x24” technique...Watercolor, Ink date...2008


title...The Obelisk dimensions...12”x9” technique...Intaglio date...2007


title...Nas Cut dimensions...12”x9” technique...Woodcut date...2007


title...Rabbit Chasing A Dragon dimensions...5â&#x20AC;?x8â&#x20AC;? (Approx.) technique...Lithography date...2008


title...Profile One dimensions...8”x5” technique...Lithography date...2008


title...Profile Two dimensions...5”x8.5” technique...Lithography date...2008


title...Xanax Machine

.

dimensions...8â&#x20AC;?x8.5â&#x20AC;?

.

technique...Lithography

.

date...2008


title...No Critters dimensions...8”x8.5” technique...Lithography date...2008


title...Atomic dimensions...18”x24” technique...Serigraphy date...2008


title...Daim Fire Explosion Study

.

dimensions...10”x24”

.

technique...Serigraphy

.

date...2008


title...Uncatchable

.

dimensions...10”x24”

.

technique... Serigraphy

.

date...2008


title...Shysty

.

dimensions...10”x24”

.

technique... Serigraphy

.

date...2008


title...Tesekkürler

.

dimensions...10”x24”

.

technique... Serigraphy

.

date...2008


title...It Makes Me Erase My Sunshine dimensions...24”x10” technique... Serigraphy date...2008


title...Buckets & Cans dimensions...Installation technique...Steel Cans, Plastic Buckets, Screws date...2008


title...MeatHead dimensions...Lifesize technique...Kiln Fired Clay, Spray Paint date...2008


title...Deutschlanders

.

technique...Arcrilc Ink

.

date...2007


title...Entropy

.

technique...Digital Concept

.

date...2007


title...IN, INC.

.

technique...Digital Concept

.

date...2007


title...T-Shirt Digital Concepts

.

date...2010


title...Uncatchable T-Shirt date...2009


title...Auburn

.

technique...Digital Photo

.

date...2004


title...America

.

dimensions...8â&#x20AC;?x10â&#x20AC;?

.

technique...Silver Gelatin Print

.

date...2007


title...Letter

.

dimensions...8â&#x20AC;?x10â&#x20AC;?

.

technique...Silver Gelatin Print

.

date...2007


title...Penis Train dimensions...10â&#x20AC;?x8â&#x20AC;? technique...Silver Gelatin Print date...2007


title...Vagina Train dimensions...10â&#x20AC;?x8â&#x20AC;? technique...Silver Gelatin Print date...2007


title...Freedom

.

dimensions...8â&#x20AC;?x10â&#x20AC;?

.

technique...Silver Gelatin Print

.

date...2007


title...Steeple dimensions...10â&#x20AC;?x8â&#x20AC;? technique...Silver Gelatin Print date...2007


title...The Fog dimensions...10”x8” technique...Silver Gelatin Print date...2007


title...The Flood dimensions...10”x8” technique...Silver Gelatin Print date...2007


title...Reflection dimensions...8”x10” technique...Silver Gelatin Print date...2007 <...................

title...The Thaw dimensions...10”x8” technique...Silver Gelatin Print date...2007


title...Angel

.

dimensions...8â&#x20AC;?x10â&#x20AC;?

.

technique...Silver Gelatin Print

.

date...2007


title...Claw

.

dimensions...8”x10”

.

technique...Silver Gelatin Print

.

date...2007


title...Indiana

.

technique...Digital Photo

.

date...2009


title...Utah

.

dimensions...8”x10”

.

technique...Ink Jet Print

.

date...2005


title...Dani

.

dimensions...8”x10”

.

technique...Ink Jet Print

.

date...2005


title...Shadows

.

dimensions...8”x10”

.

technique...Ink Jet Print

.

date...2005


title...Ballas

.

dimensions...8”x10”

.

technique...Ink Jet Print

.

date...2002


title...Bam

.

technique...Digital Photo

.

date...2009


a happy distraction! :)

title...tOOtSIE pOp dimensions...70”x25.5” technique...Oil on Canvas date...2010


Referenced Works “Andrew J. Bacevich on Bill Moyer’s Journal.” pbs.org. 15 August 2008. 31 March 2009 <http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/08152008/watch.html> Aversa, Jeannine (AP). “Meltdown 101: Why did the AIG bailout get bigger?” The Guardian. 12 November 2008. 9 April 2009 <http://www.guardian.co.uk/> “FY 2008 Appropriations Earmarks Summary.” whitehouse.gov. 9 April 2009 <http://earmarks.omb.gov/resources/Earmarks_Summary_for_Website.pdf> Gillies, Rob. “Economist Nouriel Roubini lashes out at CNBC host.” The Associated Press. 8 April 2009. 8 April 2009 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/article> Goldman, David. “CNNMoney.com's bailout tracker.” CNNMoney.com. 13 April 2009. 9 April 2009 <http://money.cnn.com/news/economy/bailouttracker.html> Longley, Robert. “Almost Half of Americans Take At Least One Prescription Drug.” About.com. 9 April 2009 <http://usgovinfo.about.com/usmedicated.htm> Shear, Michael D.. “Obama Will Sign Stimulus Bill on Tuesday.” The Washington Post. 14 Febuary 2009. 8 April 2009 <http://voices.washingtonpost.comsigning_of_stimulus_bill_expec.html> Son, Hugh. “AIG’s Bank Payments Probed by TARP Inspector General (Update3).” Bloomberg. 7 April 2009. 9 April 2009 <http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news> Wolf, Martin. “What the G2 must discuss now the G20 is over.” Finacial Times. 7 April 2009. 8 April 2009 <http://www.ft.com/cms/s/>


Suggested Reading The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (American Empire Project) - Andrew Bacevich The Real Benjamin Franklin (American Classic Series) - Andrew M. Allison The Real George Washington (American Classic Series) - Jay A. Parry The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series) - Andrew M. Allison The Rose That Grew From Concrete - Tupac Shakur Common Sense – Thomas Paine The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World - W. Cleon Skousen Graffiti World: Street Art from Five Continents - Nicholas Ganz Do or Die - Leon Bing American Progressivism: A Reader - Ronald J. Pestritto Little Dorrit - David Copperfield– Charles Dickens Artistic References

Daim Raquel Martins David Gilmore Blythe George Bingham Claude Nicolas Ledoux Pose2

Heist Thomas Cole Thomas Jefferson Ryohei Hase Does

Seak Conor Harrington Benjamin Latrobe Etienne Louis Boullee Seventh Letter Crew

Other References Bill Moyer’s Journal Nas Independent Lens Michael Savage Parker Palmer

Andrew Bacevich MSNBC Petey Green Rush Limbaugh Nouriel Roubini

Glenn Beck Frontline Nikki Giovanni CNN Barack Obama


Solitical  

Solitical is a collection of pieces exemplifying several of the major social and political problems of our contemporary American nation. It...

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