Running Out of Time

I wanted to do a post-a-day this month to highlight the 30×30 show, but life intervened. Now the show is ending. The last day is Friday, August 1st. If you haven’t seen it yet…well, you know.

Here are a few more images I wanted to share.

The Modern Madonna

The Modern Madonna

The Modern Madonna is hopefully self explanatory. She is taken from the Book of Kells, folio 7v. The baby Jesus has been moved from her lap to an official AAP approved car seat, while Mary texts on her smart-phone and gets a refill in her ubiquitous cup with green logo. My intent here is not to be snarky, but to make an observation. If the Madonna and Child happened today, this is probably what it would look like. This is a well established artistic device. Look at many of the famous biblical paintings and you will see ancient Judeans, Greeks, or Romans dressed in medieval European clothing.

Adam & Eve

Adam & Eve

Adam and Eve. OK. Maybe I am being a bit snarky here. In this design of my own making, Adam’s hair is being pulled by the serpent, while Eve looks on with resignation. I’m no expert, but I don’t think Eve had too high of an opinion of her man.

Dude? Duuude.

Dude? Duuude.

The Dudes shows a couple of guys derived from illuminated initials in the Book of Kells. They are just for fun, but deserve some closer attention. Their beards contain the words of the title and their clothing is based on Jeff Bridges costumes in ‘The Big Lebowski”. It was my wife’s idea, for which I am, as always, eternally grateful.

These, and all the other pieces in this show will be on my new web-site, coming very soon, as will be select prints available for purchase.

Stay tuned!

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Have You Seen This Man?

The last two of my i-knot series a couple sharing i-pod and a hipster. The couple I saw walking down the street one day, holding hands and sharing their ear buds. I think it was all the more sweet because they were kind of grunge-y and hard-core looking, sharing  this moment in public. It doesn’t matter if they were listening to acid or emo, it was still cute.

i-knot: Terminally Hip

i-knot: Terminally Hip

i-knot: Version 2.0

i-knot: Version 2.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hipster is the man in question. I had originally drawn him more generically with a much more structured knot. In the redraw I realized he was leaning against a wall with one foot propped up and I saw him as ‘the hipster’.

In a recent Seattle Times article someone wrote of hip young men with “ironic mustaches”. What does that mean? Is that like John Waters?  I don’t know. I drew my hipster with no mustache at all, just the beard, his curly hair tousled over his forehead, and heavy horn-rimmed glasses. He’s wearing a sweater with the sleeves pulled up, tight purple jeans, and green Chuck Taylors.

So I ask again, have you seen this man? I know I have, or a variation thereof. And I want to make clear that I’m not dissing hipsters, but lampooning a stereotype. Maybe I’ll do the Aging-Ponytailed-Beerbellied-Hippie-Artist next. Er…that would be me.

It all comes back to creating images that are easily, if not instantly, recognizable in a pop-culture context. Giving the viewer a frame of reference, a chunk of solid ground to stand on while looking at this art. Why? Because the technique I use is not a common one and I want my viewers to have something they can relate to. There were many people at the gallery opening who were totally unfamiliar with Celtic art, but they knew a flying monkey when they saw one.

i-conography?

I’ve always loved how the scribes of the old insular manuscripts would contort humans and animals into almost unrecognizable shapes, all to fit into a particular space, a la the artwork in my previous post. I also wanted to keep playing with the ‘i-knot’ theme. This formed a clear link (at least in my mind) to the i-pod ads beginning around 2005. Bright, changing colors with a figure in almost silhouette, and the i-pod and earbuds in white, all moving to music. These three pieces were directly inspired by those ads.

i-knot: Air Guitar

i-knot: Air Guitar

i-knot: Hop

i-knot: Hop

i-knot: Bellydance

i-knot: Bellydance

 

But here’s the funny thing: I don’t remember actually seeing the ads. I know I must have at some point as they are so ingrained in my memory. Around the time these ads came out, our TV died and we never replaced it. My son remembers seeing the ads on billboards and they have perhaps reached the status of an iconic image. Do a Google search for ‘i-pod advertisement’ and you will see other artists versions ranging from Darth Vader to Homer Simpson. Such is the power of popular culture.

Was there an equivalent in 800 AD? I’ll look into that question in a later post. In the meantime, dance like no one is watching.

I’m having a hard time getting the scan for i-knot: bellydance to look good on the blog. It should be a lot more magenta. It also sold opening night. Last time I checked, the other two were still available.