I live and breathe in the world of opposing forces: logic and emotion, order and chaos, yin and yang. My own life deals with oppositions; I am taught in the modern Western tradition, and yet I have this responsibility to respect my Eastern lineage. This dichotomy is a driving force behind many of my works, and so the “self-narrative” has become a recurring theme in my work. I generally set forth a general framework in my art, usually based upon my own life experiences. I freely give an open invitation for the viewer to connect with his or her own experiences in my artwork. I am speaking towards a shared experience amongst people.
An unconscious juxtaposition of imagery and text informs my work; this is the basis behind my self-narrative. My aim is to give each viewer an intimate experience, where they will be free of outsiders shaping their individual interpretation. The self-narrative is an individualized conception of how the story unfolds in my work. I give the visual elements for the viewer to construct his or her own meaning in my works.
Emotion and pure thought are always at odds; this is also another aspect of my story-telling. The opposition is inherent in all of my works; the viewer is compelled to feel this ongoing tension. There seems to be constant conflict in all of my works, whether it be formal elements or the narrative itself. I am aware of my approach, even though I am mainly concerned with the overall composition and elements at play. I feel that I am also responsible for the impact of my work on my audience; I am bound to them. I am not above the common Man, because I am the common Man.
Although I am proficient in many different media, it is painting and drawing that support my artistic vision and expression. I also embrace technology, specifically, graphic design and digital media pique my interests. I believe the creativity to fully express my ideas are possible in this new medium. With my self-narrative concept, my stories can unfold in another new medium. With computers, I can freely explore the options, while editing anything with a touch of a button. If I want to tell my stories without constraint, the computers will let me realize this vision faster than my hands can carry me. I can move as fast my thoughts take me with a computer.
I focus mainly on two formal aspects of art that help me create my self-narratives: texture and color. They can both move the viewer in a variety of ways, both aesthetically and emotionally, thus drawing them into my narrative and finding themselves in these stories. It is interesting to note that I enjoy the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1940’s and 1950’s. Everything I do seems to be an accident in my work, especially how I move the brush and manipulate the colors. In actuality, my aims are to move the viewer. The “spontaneity” of my work comes from the controlled environment of letting my subconsciousness take control. Yes, I do yield to my subconsciousness at times, but it is for the aim to achieve a higher aesthetic goal.
My Artistic Influences:
Rob Erdle: Watercolor Painter (deceased 2006)
Rob Erdle, Regents Professor at the University of North Texas, was my Watercolor instructor for my Advanced Watercolor classes. His sense of composition, color, and texture are some of the elements that interest me about his works, which usually consist of landscapes treated in an organic fashion (both imaginery and real). He is internationally known, particularly in parts of Asia (such as China). I greatly admire his mastery of the medium. His works explode full of color and life.
Here are some links to his biography, as well as his other works:
Rob Erdle’s Online Gallery
Harlan Butt: Metalsmith
Harlan Butt was my metalsmithing instructor, as well as head of the metalsmithing department at the University of North Texas. Although I did not pursue a metalsmithing degree, I appreciated Harlan’s delicate approach to the hard-surfaced medium. Like Erdle, Harlan Butt has a fond appreciation for the Asian aesthetic, something that I greatly value. His works are often seen as soft and gentle like a gentle stream, in a medium that requires precision and force. His mastery of the soft touch is something that I aspire to gain someday in my own work.
“The intent of my work is to enshrine and communicate movements or impressive elements of my separate journeys. It is in recognition and celebration of the experience of being and animal.” – Harlan Butt (in Jewelers USA)
Here is a link to his website:
Yoshitaka Amano: World-Famous Painter and Illustrator
Amano-san is an internationally-known illustrator, famous for his work on the Final Fantasy video game.
His artwork can be seen in a traditional gallery, or on a book cover.
He has become mainstream, while still maintaining his high aesthetic sensitivities.
His works have a natural viscosity; the ink and water have a life of their own.
His style carries the genuine Japanese essence, and yet there is complexity abound throughout his works. Here is his website:
Alex Ross: World-Famous Painter and Illustrator
Alex Ross redefined comics and graphic novels with his hyper-realistic renditions of classic comic book heroes. His meticulous care in his artwork is world-reknown. His dynamic poses in his portraits come to life. Here is his website:
Mark Texeira: Illustrator
Mark Texeira’s illustrations are expressive and full of energy. There is always a dark and foreboding undertone in his work. There is always tension at the core of his illustrations.
He has mainstream appeal: his works can be found in a variety of genres, including comic books, music CD covers, video games, romance novels, and even traditional oil paintings.
His dramatic sense of composition and narration are important elements that I’ve tried to emulate in many of my works.
His website is: http://www.marktexeira.com