My bodyguard holding it down in front of 'Kosoom by the Mekong' in Saigon, Vietnam back in 2010. Portrait of my wife's grandmother outside the old Sàn Art/Propeller Group headquarters .. Made possible in part by @the_propeller_group @tuan.andrew.nguyen @mc_lucero @phunamenon .. Another collaboration is in the works.. @seewhatyouthink
Close-up detail of 'Juarense y Poderosa' in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua 2014 @ Juarez Contemporary .. Photo: @maintainstudio .. Made possible with assistance from @3rdshifters @arielbrac @ericheights @jellyfishcolectivo @amorporjuarez @ricafer80 @juarezcontemporary @culturestrike
Life drawing on the NYC subway in 2015. "What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like." -Augustine of Hippo
Spring of 2009, south central/mid-city Los Angeles. Working on 'The Knight' with @retna while young @delfin watches.
It's been amazing and inspiring to see Delfin and his equally talented brother @kohshinfinley progress and grow as artists over the years, taking on classical portraiture and figure painting and finding their own voices with it. Congratulations to Delfin and the Finley fam on the new exhibition in Santa Monica! Looking forward to seeing more beautiful, powerful work from these talented brothers in the years to come..
Photo: Yuri Hasegawa @candidho )
New print release this Thursday, July 20th. Details will be posted at http://elmac.net
. 'Winter in America': It seems that much of this country, if not the world, has been experiencing a growing climate of fear and confusion. Daily tragedies overwhelm and desensitize as we grow accustomed to hearing constant reports of killings by terrorists, criminals, and police. We face obscene and ever-worsening economic inequality alongside countless social and environmental problems. A dismal and surreal political atmosphere have contributed to a collective feeling of frustration and powerlessness.
I started working on this portrait of a woman in despair late last year as a response. This piece is also an homage to the great German social realist Käthe Kollwitz, who was known for her melancholy drawings and prints depicting the struggles and suffering of the working class from poverty and war. She was born 150 years ago in July of 1867, and her work is still just as powerful and relevant today. The figure was modeled after my wife's grandmother, and like most of my paintings it was not intended as a specific portrait of just one person but a representation of many people. It is a simple, direct expression of grief and fatigue in troubled times.
. "It is mid-winter in America; a man-made season of shattered dreams and shocked citizens, fumbling and frustrated beneath the crush of greed of corporate monsters and economic manipulators gone wild (...)
We must all do what we can for each other to weather this blizzard. Now more than ever all the family must be together; to comfort, to protect, to guide, to survive..."
-Gil Scott-Heron (1975)
Life can be filled with so much suffering, it's a gift when we can brighten it by helping each other and sharing real love.
Saichai had a warmth, creativity and vitality that shone through despite the hardships life had given her. In her last few years it was inspiring to see her find joy in making art, gardening, or exploring the city on public transportation. I don't think she considered herself an artist but she really was. She lived in service to others. She had a beautiful spirit, and I'm thankful we were friends. God bless her.
Some favorites from the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition that opened recently at the @HeardMuseum in Phoenix. I think this is the only US stop, so go see it! .. Many thanks to the Heard for hosting the talk last weekend with myself and my fellow AZ mural veteranos @breeze1phx @cotalalo and
about the influence of the Mexican mural movement, and thanks to everyone who showed up to join us. There was so much to be said, more perspectives to be heard, and not nearly enough time.. Last two photos: @heardmuseum
'Native Son (This Saint Floyd)', 2016
Quick little video from when @EricHeights visited my mural with @FUSE_won commissioned by the Manitou Art Center in Colorado ....... "Love a man even in his sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest love on earth. Love all God's creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God's light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you have perceived it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day, and you will come at last to love the world with an all-embracing love."
(The Brothers Karamazov)
Music: 'Roxanne' by The Police, 1978 (by way of Cam'ron, 'What Means the World to You', 2000)
Old photo by @justWillieT at my studio of the last six years. Excited and grateful to start a new chapter with a new home and studio. I'm not a big fan of moving, but like Gil Scott-Heron said, "..since change is inevitable, we should direct the change rather than simply continue to go through the change."
'ARS ET SCIENTIA', my mural for Northeastern University in Boston. Nice recent shot by @berlinerkindl_in_hk
"Imagination abandoned by reason produces monsters; united with her, she is the mother of the arts and source of their wonders / La fantasía abandonada de la razón produce monstruos; unida con ella es la madre de las artes y origen de las maravillas." -Goya, 1799
Travel sketch from late 2015 of the iconic stone Buddha head encased in the roots of a Banyan tree at Wat Mahathat in the old Thai capital of Ayutthaya. Drawing this was one of the more peaceful, transcendent moments of my time there, despite the crowds of tourists taking photos to my right. The common belief is that this head came from the decapitation of a larger statue when the city was destroyed by invaders in the 1700s. To me it is symbolic of the potential endurance and transcendence of art, and a kind of harmonic union between art and nature.
'Spark of Divinity', 2016, Sedona, Arizona.
The embracing figures are based on my mother-in-law and her granddaughter. I intended this mural to convey some sense of the positive influence of familial love and joy, as I've seen the impact of these on my mother-in-law while she has been going through cancer treatment the last few years.
Thanks @WholeFoods @MauiCartel @MandoRascon @kimberz_ @djents @wholefoodsnorthernaz