The following are some step by step photos of my process in creating a recent piece for my upcoming show at Cukui.
For the most part, I try to avoid painting portraits of celebrities because I feel the work may lack a sense of wonder, and mystery. I also worry if people won't see passed their mental image of who the iconic figure is. Most times I prefer anonymous faces to begin paintings with because I use them as a starting point. I usually try to keep just enough to highlight a certain expression. This sensibility is probably from my experience through graffiti where you basically tweak and reinterpret legible typography based on your feelings and movement.
Well for my current show, I am going against my usual thoughts on portraiture. For a while now i have been wanting to paint a series based on various musicians through my own artist lens because music has provided so much inspiration and therapy for me. Due to my own prejudices on this type of portraiture I have avoided it. But damn it, sometimes you just gotta let it out! I hope to go past what a photograph can capture by absorbing a feeling and releasing it through the work.
Who is The Notorious B.I.G.? Certainly I don't know. Is he a Coogi pattern with shades, and a crown? I started with these elements, which are so very graphic as visual identifiers, and decided to abstract them and find new forms and compositions. I'm not sure what you get from it as I cannot dictate your feelings but I definitely stumbled onto some unexpected results and stopped the painting at a place that I feel is new and interesting. Enjoy!