He's also one of the few ones I sketched way back when I was in New York when I discovered pop art and how I can give it a bit of a twist byusing my exposure to african art and pop art.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The Nomad marks a clear departure of my previous work, not only because of being the lone acrylic piece of the series, but also because of the personal nature of its subject matter. I conceived this piece while reading the Alchemist. Its central message of not silencing the voice in your heart, and pursuing your a dreams despite the circumstances, struck a cord on me. Dream comes with hustle, struggle, and adventure. Where others see pain and suffering, I see perseverance, power, and adventure.
Nina is one of my favorite artists of all time. Her work as a feminist and civil rights activist makes her iconic, and gives her music a deeper meaning. This work is based on cover of her “Young Gifted and Black” album. The first time I saw the album I got obsessed with drawing it in a pop-art style, later I realized numerous artists had drawn her in that style from the 70s. With this piece I wanted to capture the of the mood of the time, but most of all its simplicity.
I remember going to into a shop in New York a couple of years ago, hanging on the wall were these stunning sketches of women in various poses. The style of the work was so breathtaking it sparked my creativity. Shortly after I got on a bus and did what would become the first piece of my next style of work; hence the title.
All high schools have wall poets, some are obnoxious bathroom vandals, while others are genuine scribes. I remember one of those instances very vividly, walking down a set of stairs and finding a short poem on a wall written in Yoruba.
The poem was about a boy a his unconditional love for a girl. A girl he compared to the most beautiful things his young mind could conceive, the moon and butterflies. He concluded the poem comparing her to a flower in the thickest of the forest. I might not be most sensitive guy, but that one line stuck with me ever since, now I can’t stop drawing girls in the forests.
Anyone who knows my work will notice that most of my subjects are women, artists, political icons, and drummers. Although I have drawn numerous drummers in the past this was the first one created in this style. I doubt Gon-Gon will be the last.
Fela is one of those subjects I truly enjoy drawing. I probably reworked this piece innumerable times before I started to get the desired impact. Not only to imprint some Fela’s alluring persona, but also for the work to be able transmit the kinetic forced that characterized his music.