Here’s my latest creation and the beginning of a new direction for my work. I decided to create an abstract self portrait using the logos to represent the brands I drink, wear, and use on daily basis. The bright colors and composition are heavily influenced by Frank Stella, Murakami, and Keith Haring. The painting is made with Automotive florescent and sparklescent paint. Its painted on a canvas that measures 48″ x 48″.
In thinking about birthdays, I’ve been asking myself what that means exactly. By definition it refers to ones official day of entering the world, but for me I thought the idea seemed more interesting to think of it as a birth of who you would ultimately in life become. And more specifically remembering a single moment that would define your character?
There is a story my Dad used to tell us growing up about his journey into the United States. The entire story is much longer, and actually pretty good, but for now I’ll just share the bullet points. It starts with him and my sister taking a van up through Mexico and into Baja from San Salvador (my mom and I would cross at a later date). The goal was to cross at Tijuana. At some point they were instructed to get out of the van in the middle of the night and walk…literally cross the border. There were many and they walked for miles throughout the night just before the sunrise. Helicopters were seen in the sky periodically. They had no suitcases. Only the clothes on their backs. And at some point my Dad hurt his foot and was unable to carry my sister. And there was this old man who must have befriended them during the journey. He offered to help carry my sister in return for the shirt my Dad was wearing. He said he liked the little alligator. He knew what the logo stood for. He knew that Lacoste carried some cultural currency, and he was in that moment willing to trade physical strength for material wealth. Who knows what shirt he had on before that, but he definitely wanted to roll into the U.S. with some style.
Growing up I remembering hearing that story. When I was little I never understood why someone would care so much about a stupid shirt. Now I’m completely fascinated with brands and logos. I also now work for a company that produces enough apparel to clothe an entire nation. Logos, icons, and graphic language are everything in the business I’m in. Standing for something is everything. And in some weird way I owe that stupid alligator some credit for the creative life I’ve been able to lead thus far. I thank god everyday for the creative talents I’ve been given and the amazing opportunity to express myself. Sometimes I think what kind of life I would have led had if my parents had not made it across the US border. Sometimes I wonder if I would still have a creative life. Sometimes I wonder if I would care so much about logos. Sometimes I wonder what became of that old man.
Painter Luke Rudolf has discovered a magic formula utilizing the interplay between simple geometry, organic paint strokes and use of color to devise images that you just can’t take your eyes off of. It’s almost as if you expect something to materialize from beneath his work.
The initial idea of the Favela Painting project was always to paint an entire hillside favela in the center of Rio, visible to all inhabitants and visitors. As the portuguese translation for ‘the hill’; ‘o morro’ is also used as a synonym for slum or favela, the artists chose to use this name for the third stage of the Favela Painting project. You can find more on the projects in their official website and their Facebook Page.