Welcome to the Artist commentary of each painting.
What does it all mean? Still the greatest question in life and in Art. Well here is your chance to get many answers to what the art means to the producer of these pieces. Daftpixel, a street name, a writer, an artist, a website, all these tools are here to give you more insight into the world of these metaphorical landscapes. Please forgive any unfortunate typos and bad grammar, between the overdoses of coffee and extracurricular activities …. not much time left for editing.
“Two Faces” left panel.
“Two Faces” left panel. #1 in the series. Ok I Just hung “Two Faces” left panel FULL SIZE up in front of my computer so I may write to YOU and still to this day I am in love with her. Produced with an airbrush on canvas with acrylic paint. The original stands 3′x3′. She is a dancer. She is a world, a city, a home, a place to dream and fantasize about, your whole life if you could wear it on your face. All the people you have met, all the relationships you have had ( good and bad), all the family piling up and eventual overwhelming endless city of it, and all the everyone’s exponential dreams still yet to be realized is why and how I became an artist is thrown into this piece. The memories that still dance around your everyday moments should be inserted here. She is the adventurer knowing that life is never over and it is always evolving, moving, in transition as a natural, visceral ebb and flow. Nothing in my life ever stops why should my paintings have to be still lifes? Sucks but they are. All that action frozen in time makes me wish my paintings could move usually. I do my best to give these pieces so much life, eventually they do move, they travel, they are shared, and they inspire new life. I know they are dancers…with so much vitality that they become alive, and I truly believe she is. Not only is she alive, she is immortal. I believe she is. Just as I wish to be, I infuse that vitality in her. Are you still with me? Ok good, I think we have a good base going of what we are looking at. By the way these paragraphs are best enjoyed next to the painting full size. ( Hint).
In my paintings I do tend to put things in, on, or close to their actual heads to describe the characters thoughts. This woman is a hot head. The firemen and fire represent her tenacity and down right troublesome persona. Maybe it’s just me but this woman is a firecracker. Most guys would get chewed up in a minute by her shear emotional troposphere. I like a woman with some “balls” and this delight has them. She is also part of of a diptych which is a male / female contrasting piece so she also represents the drama/passion/ and overall responsibility to own her spot in history. She is the organic side of this diptych with lots of nature and openness. That is why you see the blossoming flowers, flowing trees, lots of water, sky, and children. Oh ya did you know the row of flowers by the road and the biker are just one flower in animation? That represents the birds and the bees, girls becoming women and the whole opening of flowers springtime vibe. I know this is getting a little too much now. However… I might as well let you know to the bottom left there is a water splash from an elevator breaking through the water. That splash is also man and women in a passionate embrace. All of their offspring are flying out below them also in the form of a splash. Yeah it’s primal and it’s awesome…. I suggest visiting that place often.
On the golf course close to the flowers are all father son scenarios. The top two are pointing to the flowers blooming suggesting the father son talk about becoming a man and the whole sex talk. ( girls becoming women). Also the duo below that are sharing a moment as well is the father teaching his kid to juggle bottles ( as in alcoholism). Notice they both have dunce hats on. And finally below there is a father/ son moment where they are going through the motions but not really participating. Notice both are not paying attention to each other.
The main character, the woman, her eye is a clock which everyone has their own thoughts on time. I feel I spend a lot of time painting alone. And eventually I gave ( will give) most of my time to my art and to her. So she wears it like a tattoo now. The actual time of six o’clock has no special meaning just trying to stay true to the lighting of the piece. Close to sunset. All the crazy characters underneath her eye are my friends throughout the years who have supported me. I paid homage to them there. Thanks everyone!
The trees close to her nose are all animals did you see? Very subliminal and cool. FYI here is the list of them in order from top to bottom. Elephant, manitee, rhino, gorilla, lion, tigerish?, pelican, sea otter, bear, alligator. I tried.. there ya go.
The buildings to the left represent her hair of course and also I seriously just thought of it as a place where there is shopping ( for shoes and such) I know it is a stretch hey you asked to know what I was thinking so there ya go. The yacht is all about high end cruising on the water, travel, and decadence.
I think that is enough for now. In conclusion, the big picture. The entire meaning is this: This woman is the legendary person in all these people lives. She is the most loved, embraced, and coveted throughout this community and family life. She is etched into the roads, mountains, buildings, and on everyone’s mind. That is why she is built of all these things she earned it with love, devotion and strength and stands strong amongst all these people as a monument for others to strive for. She is also a grand supporter of her man. That man is her counterpart which is to be described next. He is the second part of the diptych known as “TWO FACES”.
Few! So much more to say………… but that is a good start. As I always say just enjoy! And make your own stories…. this is just what it means to me.
“Two Faces” right panel.
“Two Faces” right panel. #2 in the series. Welcome to male side of the diptych. Strong, industrial and confident, he is the father of this epic series. Produced with an Iwata airbrush on canvas. Two Faces is painted entirely with black and white acrylic on canvas. After countless showings at special events and pop up gallery appearances, “Two Faces” right panel has proven it has everything a great piece of art needs. What is great art you might ask? Well to me it is a piece that you can return to forever and it never let’s you down. It is that “je ne sais quoi”, the magic that just grabs you by the frontal lobe and never ceases to tantalize your senses. True art is timeless, not based on fads, icons, or history, it is a religion if you will that can stand the rigors of time, place and thing. It is a monument to greatness. As you can tell by now I am a bit bias about the piece and I will gladly expose my affinity for what I call a masterpiece. See this diptych is built for masterpiece status, and the right side is just one of those guys where everything aligned and he is blessed with the title, masterpiece. I can’t even take all the credit… some luck was involved. I was a lot younger when I painted this one and surely my composition skills were not as experienced as they are now and this painting just happened to hit composition gold. Not easy to do with this many variables going on in such a vast menagerie of stories and shapes. So with a little luck and more TMI, welcome to the story of “Two Faces” right panel.
He is the male counterpart to the spectacular woman next to him. He as I mentioned based on what’s close to the foreheads of my main subjects for is quite obviously COOL headed with the snow and the snowboarder. He is smiling like he has some secrets too great to mention. He looks down as if shy and almost too lucky he has his secrets. I would say he is down right lucky and he knows it. That’s why he can never be sad, ever. Even on his worst day he will smile.
He is the industrious, work, and technical side of the story. He is also harboring some political sleight in the lower right corner. Did you see a few presidents in the photographs flying out of the photographers pouch? There is Obama, Clinton, and Bush. Faintly half under the water is Reagan. The guy in the photo close to the computer is a good friend who has helped my art career in a great time of need and urgency,so he deserves presidential status… he prefers to remain anonymous. Next to him is another anonymous group, their movement and their logo is on the computer screen next to the guy with his head exploding and turning into a dragon. The guy on the computer is wearing the V for vendetta mask. This half naked provaceteur embodies the OCCUPY movement while overlooking the scenery high a top his perch with his computer close at hand. That computer is his weapon of choice, his mind is expanding and overseeing all while hacking up a dragon size storm against USA, represented by the bald eagle.
The photographer riding the waterfall in a barrel in the lower right middle is the stereotypical artist “dying” for his art. He is a photographer taking risks to get the “right shot”. Getting into a barrel and throwing himself off a huge waterfall to get the perfect shot. He is “toasting himself” ( champagne glass over his head with hand raising the glass) and very excited because he is in the moment where life and art become one and tingle with perfection. All is right in the world for him at that moment. He is perfectly fulfilled. AND then subsequently in peril after this moment, about to plunge 100 ft down in a barrel with all his gear and probably copious amounts of grief then after. This artist in a barrel symbolizes the passion, sacrifice, and pure bliss artists experience daily while producing your culture for you and he would gladly pay dearly for that joy. Maybe even pay with his life. Living every minute for his art and sometimes forgetting about more important things like family, love, food, sleep, safety and security. It’s all about the art for him.
Moving left on the lower part of this painting from the photographer is the scuba divers. If you have ever learned to scuba dive, you know the cardinal rule is the buddy system. You never scuba alone because gear does fail and conditions change in an instant, you don’t want to be out there alone when it does. In this case though the scuba diver’s buddy is planning on stabbing him the back. This area of the painting represents the “buddies” that say they have your back and do not. Choose your buddies wisely, especially when they are your life line.
Well let’s lighten up the mood, how about some classic subliminal nudes! Look at the main character’s nose. Look again. Did you know it is also a woman’s torso? The bridge of his nose is the top of her back and the bottom of his nose is her butt. Following left after her butt is her leg like she is in a seated position, and back up the left side of his nose is her breast. Above his eyebrows is the hint of her arms. Pretty cool no? I will never forget at a showing one day… some guy after I showed him the woman on his nose said… ” scent of a woman” and he was right… funny and metaphorical just the way I like it. Thanks Dude, a little comedy never hurts.
Ok I need a break… that’s all for this painting for a bit.
“Courtship of Land & Sea”
“Courtship of Land & Sea” This is #3 in the series. After years of wondering how “Two Faces” can be outdone, the realization slowly set in any attempt to dominate this crazy masterpiece is futile. Then many moons later, an epiphany hit me… I had not to outdo it but to focus it more. I had done the whole series on one piece! And then the floodgates opened up and all of sudden there where endless opportunities to create more masterpieces without doing “sequels” and not have to compete with Two Faces. Because Two Faces is such a crazy world, another crazy world with everything going at once would be a repeat. And that is why another piece will not be created in it’s fashion. What you see now is the epiphany unfolding, the chance to break up TWO FACES into endless stories in other people, places, and things. So now here she is the proof of concept of that epiphany. “Courtship of Land & Sea” or COLA for short is ready for her Close up.
This two toned dreamscape is a love story hidden in a mysterious aquatic world. A beautiful woman half underwater and half above is the star of this piece. And in typical Dualisee fashion she is also made of landscape. She is in a moment of suspended ecstasy as the reflections of moonlight ripple across her face. She might be in a dream, maybe even fantasizing of an intimate moment. Or she is not alone, maybe she is with her boyfriend/husband and she has just wandered off mentally for a second. Being naughty and thinking of past loves. Her world is filled with characters, friends, lovers, and ex lovers. It is up to you to choose which person she is really thinking of at this moment. Because as you can see she is in her own world, eye’s closed she could be anywhere right now. Now is about time I should mention there are two other big faces ( men) in the painting beside hers. Look at the cliff in the upper left with the waterfall and the woman in the dinghy, it’s also a guy’s face. And also look at the reef below the underwater club, it is the second man in the painting. So you see she is not alone. Maybe the guy in the upper left is an old boyfriend, and the guy in the lower right was long before him. That is why the man in the lower right is not paying attention to her and the guy in the upper left is very into her. Either way they linger in her mind in this painting. Also as I mentioned before what goes on close to my main character’s heads usually hints to what kind of person they are and what they might be thinking. So the guy at the upper left is probably a surfer, hence the nice waves. And the guy in the lower right…. any guesses?? A DJ! So really she is thinking about a lot of things in this piece… but if you look at her forehead she is thinking of being on the beach with her man and their kids, and she is dreaming of this painting on the easel at the beach front art studio. She is not only a star of this painting, she is now immortal forever in paint. That is the main story of COLA.
Now the details: The underwater tram represents the tourists in her mind. You the viewer are represented here catching a glimpse of all of this visually, hence the eyeball on the front of the train. No it is not an Illuminati thing. The underwater club represents the mingling of people and a chance for this gal to maybe have met one of her old boyfriends or the last one, or the artist! Check out the shark bar in the lower left, the bartender and waitress represent her possible employment. If you study dream culture most characters in your dreams are versions of yourself. I’d like to believe that is true with art as well. All the characters are versions of the artist or the main characters. The main character’s sub characters are subconscious versions of her life that day. The one shark at the bar is on a laptop, maybe he is checking her out online? HA! They are all sharks of the heart and she has a lot of fans. Did you also notice the shrimp at the bar is holding a cocktail? Shrimp Cocktail! insert drum ba da bump!
Most of you are probably wondering what is up with that fish in the bowl underwater right? Well that little fishy represents the artist. How you ask? Well the fishbowl is also an underwater submarine. That is the propeller on the back and the smaller tubes on the side are steering props. And a light on top. This little fish is on an adventure. As an artist, and a visionary painter the mind gets to go on these great adventures that are truly magical and well… trips. They become quite real, emotional, and fantastic! As soon as the artist steps into the studio to design these worlds he packs his bags and immerses himself in these special places. Like traveling without moving, that is why this fish is in a bowl just like the artist in the studio, the fish is going nowhere, but traveling in the mind. A very lonely, lengthy, motionless, and awesome adventure.
All the subtle characters represent people that have come into her life at one point or another even if for a brief moment, they make up the fabric of her mind. The guys on her high dive eyebrow represent guys taking a flying leap at asking her out, or making a pass at her. The woman in the dingy is her at one point taking a chance on the surfer guy. And the girl on the paddle board was her at one point interested in the sailboat captain.
This piece is all about love, water, change, fluidity and despite all odds a happy ending. What water piece would be complete without mermaids! Check out the cocktail waitress under the tram bridge. She is touching the glass of the underwater club and having a moment with a guy in that venue. This represents one of those impossible romances where two people share a flicker of grand love, and maybe realize it is impossible. The story of my life. As a an artist I would sometimes wish I never was given the burden of being an artist because there have been so many life moments I would never pursue because I am married to my art. Shackled in a veil of glass as I watch the girl ( and MANY other things) get away………However in a great movie happy ending in this piece the artist does get the girl… That is the artist on the beach with COLA, the painting, and their kids at the beach front art studio! She knew the dream was real and saw the painting complete before the artist ever did.
“A-Muse” by Daftpixel
“A-Muse” by Daftpixel #4 in the Dualisee series. a·muse (e-myooz) tr.v. a·mused, a·mus·ing, a·mus·es 1. To occupy in an agreeable, pleasing, or entertaining fashion. 2. To cause to laugh or smile by giving pleasure: I was not amused by his jokes. 3. Archaic To delude or deceive.
This intense view of all things amusing is also harboring a classic nude pose of a woman throughout the amusement park. Many viewers who are lucky enough to catch this one outside of the computer get a chance to sneak up on her from a distance and actually see the woman first, then after closer inspection find she is not just a woman but an entire amusement park! In Daftpixel signature style the detail is truly hyper! Each and every inch is packed with story line which unfolds after taking the pieces home. What does it all mean? And the artist would also say now, why do so many people dislike clowns? Well part of that is ingrained in the back of the mind from before you can remember and well maybe even you don’t know.
This amusement park full of surprises is the story of being born into this crazy world and learning through discovery and fun. A-Muse is the mother of all children, she is also mother earth. She gives us life, makes us laugh, cry and learn through our many vicissitudes. A-Muse watches over us all as we grow up through all our experiences through this magical world even with a tear at times. In the lower left you see the entrance to the park…. “Welcome Home” and the image of Earth is how this story begins. Each child passes through woman and matures throughout their journey. Lot’s of rides for the small children to enjoy and grand they were at that age. Wish I could have fit more into the piece! I researched so many rides and unfortunately could not fit half as many as I wanted. As we grow older we expand our idea of what defines fun. Moving toward the teen years concerts and music become more interesting and part of our experiences, including more complicated stories through Cinema. Did you notice the outdoor movie theater in the upper right. I couldn’t think of a good movie to put there so asked the public and someone said TITANIC. I immediately loved it and made my job easier for a moment. The movie TITANIC represents so much about life and entertainment it was perfect. Also it was a love story with many muses and not such a happy ending even though it was filled with love. Hopefully by now you have seen the whole body of “A-Muse” in this piece now. The gravitron ride helps define her right breast. Depending on the distance from the actual full size painting is how natural it looks or not. This painting and many others do not read in classic Dualisee style over the internet, they need to be taken home to appreciate the many compositional changes that occur when the viewer stands at different distances to the paintings. This painting is no exception. I love watching people walk up to her from 20 feet and to their surprise find the woman they thought they saw disappears into the amusement park. Truly a muse as she comes and goes in and out of play in this piece. Above the gravitron or her right breast is a sign that reads Going ( down arrow) 2. This means going down 2. Sometimes having fun means paying the price. This ride goes straight down after a fast trip up and through the buring ring of fire and straight down even underground… To hell maybe if you want to go all the way. Cleverly stashed is this epic crash and burn. Just a ride at an amusement park but in life this analogy is much more severe. Be careful of how much fun you have…. you might be going up at first but going down might be further than you planned.
Left of the GOING DOWN 2 ride is the street parade otherwise known as MARDI GRAS and CARNIVAL. All these carnival floats represent the fantastic over sized experiences of this type of over the top FUN! Now I know many of you dislike clowns. This big one especially next to the compact florescent bulb and it’s on lookers. This light bulb represents the idea of this painting and the spark of an idea that attracts others. I turn on my ideas and you the viewer are attracted to it. Also it attracts the clowns and participants of Carnival. This light bulb was a late design fix because this is the true center of the painting and lacked focus when the Muse vanished… the eye naturally wanted to rest there so I needed something strong like a light! Not only is “A-Muse” the subject of this piece, because she does vanish into the park when the viewer is to close to see her, the light bulb takes her place and just the “idea” of “A-Muse” becomes the center of attention. Presto! Like a mirage from a distance you see the Oasis, and when you get close you realize what you thought you viewed has vanished and you are left with the idea.
To be continued…..
“Sounds of Love” by Chris Elliman
“Sounds of Love” #5 in the series. Two performers from two different bands meet at a festival and fall in love. Who doesn’t love a good music festival? And what is a better place to meet your favorite person? Well this piece is just that. She is pop singer, he is heavy metal/ punk rocker. He is the main guy in the kiss and also on stage holding the guitar with the spiked hair facing her stage, hence the main dude’s metal spikes. The main woman is shown about to kiss the heavy metal guy and on stage with the microphone facing him on the stages. Got it? Read the above one more time maybe…
Each main character has their inner child represented in the back of their heads. The woman’s is the little girl holding the teddy bear walking over the bridge. Notice her kitty cat? Then further up the path to the ace of hearts doors she is there again older and wiser. Now she knows she is going to be a musician. That notion is represented by her kitty is now a full blown tiger with headphones. The tiger looks back at the kitty as if to ponder how far they have come and the end of her youth. Her maturity and confidence is growing as she opens the doors of love to a new beginning and even more adventures. Her tiger will follow her everywhere as a protector all to the beat of that epic band next to them. She is a princess by choice and upbringing, she loves fairy tales, rainbows, magical places, and most of all finding her prince to kiss. Her inner child has castles to travel to and unicorns to fly with. She is happiest in the dream, and her dream is real.. she is the highest caliber of artist and dreams come true daily.
The Dude’s inner child is there in the back of his head too. Sitting glued to the television on the speaker stack on stage to the right of the painting. As a kid, he was mostly left alone to figure things out all through the television. He is a latch key, TV kid. Anything goes, and anything is better than living in that box. He became a musician to escape the television and make his own show. He is a rebel, simply a bad boy, and self made man. His dad ( a machine worker) grinds away above, always gone, always working and close to the industrial setting at the top left. This arrangement is all that makes up the son. Not much… cold and uncultured. Some how this main guy turned this cold setting into a very powerful, passionate, and artistic fuel. The grinding of his Dad’s tool is a metaphor for all the yelling and disciplinary talks the father gave. All the ” do as I say” talks even though the father was miserable most of the time and always gone. The son vowed to never be like his Dad and he isn’t. The son is a strong artist, and passionate lover. The world is his now….. and he has turned his Dad’s incessant grinding into songs that move the world. Now as full blown lovers and artists, the audience becomes witness to two opposite backgrounds becoming one gorgeous festival of love. ( That’s all for now…. to be continued )
“The Mysterious Life of Benjamin”
“The Mysterious Life of Benjamin” #6 in the series. Welcome to the left side of this diptych. As you might have guessed by now this piece is all about M O N E Y. This is a portrait of Benjamin Franklin. He is portrayed on the 100 bill and so shall he be here. I have imagined Benji as the old money, the power and the prestige. He is filled with all the more megalomaniacle antics one might think our elders are known for.The fat cats, the politicians, the war, and oil games all in effect here. The pinnacle of this piece is at the top corner. All those suits with the spears are CEOs collecting zeros. Once you have soo much money it’s just fun when you see another zero added to your collection. I know I like it!
Ok let’s get to the details…. my specialty. Bottom right corner of Benjamin is a couple. This guy pointing off into the distance is me and a girl I once dated. I was pointing to the future. I had big ideas and no money. She gave me the time of day and fun dates but it was apparent she was always looking somewhere else. More toward men with status and wealth. It was painful to see her gravitate toward people with money as I struggled to find mine. She wanted the fat cats and that’s what she is looking at. We were together a lot but in spirit we were in different worlds. The briefcase next to me represents the ideas I have. The intellectual property I owned at the time and she couldn’t see or understand because it wasn’t tangible to her as it pertained to her immediate world. To me it was as good as any Rolls Royce or mansion anyone owned, as good as perfect fiscal health. What I am pointing at is also a metaphor for my situation at the time. I am pointing to the road and watching it turn into computer code. ( mind you I am pointing to is Andrew’s side of the diptych). Watching the rode and cars turn into a metaphor for the information super highway. A spark of an idea turning into something tangible and amazing. Imagination and invention are the cornerstone of our society. I am creating the gap between idea and reality all the time. As an artist, I am a proud to put myself in society whenever possible. Here I am the lover,the inventor, and the entrepreneur all in one! That briefcase holds all my wealth. DO NOT BE afraid to bank on your ideas. SOMEDAY they might become worth a lot of money. AND BY all means don’t let anyone else stop you from trying…. even if it means losing someone you love. This is how the best become the best…. sometimes with great sacrifice.
Benjamin’s side is full of wonderful CARS. What is money if you can’t buy wonderful cars! Here we have the Rolls Royce PHANTOM, Chevy Rally Fighter, Bugati, Lamborghini Aventador, gullwing Mercedes Benz, Porsche Panamera, Ferrari California, and the last one is an old Cadillac. To the right of the cars a lot of people thank god are recognizing those cross shaped items are indeed wine grapes or vineyards if you will. To continue with the prestige and luxury of this side why not a little vino! To the bottom left of the painting the phat cats and corporate pigs sip their drinks and enjoy the fruit of all their exploits. The pillaging of ALL of US. Even themselves. They would eat each other if they could profit from it. They control the entire painting from their perch. This is a vantage point so all encompassing they don’t have to move. Just sip drinks and push buttons from their master control spot. Close to them is our nations capitol. That is their weapon of choice to make all the numbers pile up. And of course all in the name of of good ol’ U. of A. The American flag flies high and proud. We built this thing for better or worse and it is bad ass! If you play all your cards right this can all be your too. AND THAT I CAN SAY IS STILL WHAT MAKES THIS COUNTRY GREAT! Believe the HYPE!
Back to the right above the couples head is a funny metaphor for entrepreneurship at the ground floor. A hot dog cart sits street side. Yes you too can be in an independent business man… start here! Then right above that is quite another level with the billboards for the bank add. I have found already in many viewings that people love this saying.”The bigger the bank, the smaller the customer”. Another metaphor is the lovely buildings stacking up into piles of money! Yes Money what this piece is all about! Piles and piles. Insert demonic laugh here!
Ok…. I have to run…. more later!
“The Mysterious Life of Andrew”
“The Mysterious Life of Andrew” #7 in the series. ( This is the first draft of this description, please forgive the typos). Wow what a response it has been for Andrew. I am learning more about the man than I had counted on. Andrew Jackson in this story merely represents the focus of his role on the currency, specifically the twenty and it’s reign in peoples lives. This is the right side of the latest diptych by DAFTPIXEL. In all it’s glory as a stand alone painting, Andrew is also part of Benjamin Franklin to complete this masterwork. Andrew represents the smaller ( younger) money and the struggle in this story. Most importantly let’s start with what I have dubbed the “Cubicle Tornado” spinning in Andrew’s forehead. These diligent 9-5ers are feverishly laboring around the clock clinging to their mighty dollars and dedicating their lives to a paycheck. The desk jobs represent anyone who occupies that mentality to be hoarded in boxes to get work done for a business that borrows their souls for the sake of the company. Eventually many are consumed by their jobs and fall victim to it’s life altering agenda. If you follow the tornado all the way down you will see the EYE of Andrew claims their souls completely, they are sucked into the EYE of ANDREW JACKSON and vanish, His eye is also partly a tree. A Money tree. These trees are the system itself and consume the workers and separate the fools from their money through fiscal photosynthesis. Once the workers are devoured and all their money is extracted, the money is collected by the strange men with vacuums and carted away to the vault to the right ( also subtly represented by Andrew’s ear). Above the vacuum men are the underground computer terminals flanked by the armed policeman and the guard dog. This computer dug out represents the IRS monitoring all the jobs and taxes from all angles. Of course close by is the White House and Marine 1 the presidential helicopter. The white house stands as a shining example of our democracy hard at work to keep you working and safe….well they try their best, the mystery continues. This would be a great time to mention the name of the painting again. “The Mysterious Life of Andrew” is the nice juicy shiny example of all the distractions, busy work and misdirection so the mystery is perfectly disguised before your very eyes. And in this painting the fiscal rabbit hole goes very deep. This is just the surface and the mystery is right behind the painting. It is the mystery as we see it or don’t see it. Below the computer dugout is good Ol’ Uncle Sam. I had to do some research to discern if this imagery wasn’t too out of date to include! I am sure some younger art collectors might not know of him?! Anyway he is another patriot who believed in the philosophy work hard and you get the American dream. He had no problem taking your money in return for his great spirit even before you could walk! Thanks UNCLE! Of course he has a money tree right next to him, hopefully the baby will notice the tree for the first time and smell it’s sinister fragrance, it isn’t as beautiful as it seems. Behind Uncle Sam’s tree is a cute squirrel holding a dollar. This is a hint to the next painting in the series #8 ( A rainforest piece where animals become human-like and the people are completely controlled by the animals). Here the squirrel just holds the dollar in total confusion because the trees are full of them and well he just doesn’t know what to do. The squirrel also has a bird’s eye view of all the consumer goods on display at the bottom. This conveyor belt of products represents shopping now in the digital age. Endless products at your fingertips. Please sit back and enjoy the view. And of course we take credit cards. The two women stare zombie like in enchantment from all the shopping bliss. Stoic and mesmerized by all the shiny accoutrements, they are drooling at how shopping is today! The screens represent the ladies seeing the real products digitally. Above those two ladies is the one thing a heterosexual woman should never have to buy, a wedding ring. She also gazes into the screen endlessly waiting and dreaming. I Just thought diamonds had to be in this piece…. and there was a perfect opportunity. To the left of the wedding ring girl is my human credit card machine. These two blue collar workers are symbolic of lumberjacks hacking up a tree ( maybe a money tree!) with a double manned saw. Only they swipe cards all day. Imagine them next time you swipe yours, I did. Behind the left credit card worker is a man at the end of his credit. That is his credit card he stands on. The card dangerously hangs over the busy city street like a diving board. He is in an angelic pose either embracing his mighty city and asking for a miracle or contemplating something much more dire. You decide. Now to the city streets. I imagined New York or a busy Paris street. The buildings flank the road like the trenches of the death star. Endless channels of business and people stacked up so the money consumption and redistribution will surely flourish. And all roads lead to the pyramid with the all seeing eye. In this painting on Andrew’s side, the rows of cars traveling on the street become computer code. I lived in an age before the internet and now living in a world with it has been an amazing change to know both. This very road depicts the changing of roads into information highways. The internet itself is trying to become money through bitcoin and other digital transfers and this part illustrates that drastic change. Andrew’s buildings are represented by coins along the street. Endless buildings and currency pile up to infinity. The upper left of ANDREW’s painting is the hope of this painting. These few lucky ones make it out of the cubicle tornado and escape on their money to more financial freedom. Possibly to more prosperous and mysterious measures than Benjamin suggests. The Mystery is to be continued……..
If you could see an entire planet scream would you acknowlege it’s situation more? If the planet could cry or show weakness would you be a little more conscious of your actions toward her? Would you take any more responsibility? This is mother nature if she could show you her face….this is what I think it would look like at present and after 2 planetary extinctions. The first annihilation being the dinosaurs, the second….mankind. What you are witnessing in this piece is the precise moment when the 3rd extinction has been decided, now the animals are doomed. This is “Mother Nature’s Wrath”. Ok… I know….. the story is pretty fierce I will admit. It is pure destruction and lack of awareness to someone who gave us life. It is about loss and about the unconscious acts of many desecrating their own home by not paying attention and all the little things adding up to their own downfall.
This is the first “ugly” painting I think I have ever painted. Maturing as an artist I realize my voice has to get stronger and more prepared to stand up on issues that are important to me. As an artist I hone and practice my perception and awareness to all things. As in ALL THINGS. I don’t just hide in my studio and coward behind my tools of the trade. I am the window into my life and yours. I won’t just paint pretty things every time. I am a humble mirror and voice, I hope my voice has a big enough yell and it echoes into your home and your hearts.
Ok let’s talk about the details ( in order of importance). At mother’s forehead is the earth burning away. This is our habitat being mistreated. It is about climate change and also about the overpopulation, trash, overfishing, exploiting all our resources at an alarming rate. Even the horses behind the planet are being burned as they run away. Next are the bears fishing. The father is teaching his kid to fish. The kid is more concerned with his ipad. This is an ongoing problem for parents. The dad is trying to pass on knowledge and experience but the kid would probably prefer watching fishing on youtube. Hence the Nurture versus technology is now a big issue. Smart phones are seen in this painting quite frequently. The social concerns evolving with point and click, swipe, and scroll life are becoming prevalent. Coming from an age where social interaction was more common with actual face to face, watching the kids born into smart phone technology and becoming phone zombies is really sad. Social interaction on screen is the new standard in the personal space people use to share in person and this bear fishing scene represents all moments when face time is ruined by technology. Next up is the top hat party! These are the politicians, the big wigs, the fat cats fueling all the mayhem pushing the American dream down everyone’s throats. They live in a bubble of the 1 percenters. Facilitating all the “lifestyle” through capitalism and hype. Meanwhile the earth pays the biggest price and the people also pay dearly with their lives trying to live up to the American dream. These are the animals that have achieved total manipulation of their surrounding and can earn millions while sitting around sipping champagne. Meanwhile their “big business” has massive negative affects on the planet. These big wigs are feasting and partying to all their success. The rat chefs are cooking up the main course, greed and corruption a la cart. Check out the interaction between the bull and the alligator. This scene is extra special. The alligator is trying to cut a deal with the bull and snake. Look behind the bulls back. It is a huge mallet. He holds his snake back or just up to share in the meeting ( maybe the snake is the bull’s business partner). Notice the snake’s tail is super fat in comparison to it’s main body. This is no business meeting. This is the alligator’s last deal. The bull is going to bonk the alligator over the head with the mallet and the snake will eat him soon after. The snake’s tail represents it’s previous meal almost totally digested and he is ready to eat again. This scene represents how disgusting these politicians and big corporations are. They will eat each other in broad daylight and in front of everyone. And we are suppose to call this ” normal business”. No favors, no please and thank you. Just totally fierce competitive survival of the fittest mentality. And lives are second to the cost of doing business. At the bottom of the party scene is my humble little hippie orangutan. He is the easy going protestor outside the party trying to tell the motorists to wise up and change their polluting ways. He is also cleverly placed next to the big wigs in irony to think twice about shoving their gas and oil down the animals throats. The polluters are present with the motorcycles belting out smoke as they speed by. The bottom motorcycle has two riders. One is focused on the road and oblivious to the party behind the veil of plants. The party who sold him his bike and endless payments of petrol. Only to fuel his freedom at the expense of his extended carbon footprints. They force us to stay in a gas world when electric motors and batteries are already way ready for common street use. The second rider doesn’t have to focus on the road and is enjoying the view. He is taking notice of the big wig party. He is a younger mind and more aware of his surroundings, more focused on learning and absorbing his environment. Maybe he is the one who will take a stand and make a difference…. maybe it is too late. Either way he can see the party….it is very different than the life he knows. He is mesmerized. Maybe he wants to be like them too. Next up the road is the police pig with a radar gun. His motorcycle is ready to hit the road and charge you a fee for speeding. No metaphors here…. just a straight taxing for being in a modern society and being under a “control”. Up the road to the top we go. Half way up the road in the river is the rafters. These guys are the happy idiots. They are happy anytime. They are oblivious to the demise of the planet, barely understand technology, politics or any desire to be conscious of their “status’ or imprint on the world. They are just passing through and going with the flow. Wherever the river takes them is their motto. They had a chance to see everything and make a difference but they do as everyone else does and feel they can make no difference. They are completely passive and respect their position in life. Next to these rafters is the bear peeing in the river. He is the young rebel and the anarchist who knows at one point bears pissed in the woods. Now technology says he should relieve himself in a toilet. He is aware of all the new technology and politics, he knows how to be a good citizen but he says “F%ck it”. This bear represents the people who know better and don’t care. The world is his toilet he says. And many people live this way now. They feel like the world is their trash can ,their ashtray. I am calling you out litterbugs, naysayers, and the entitled. You might as well pee in the streets too. This bear represents all the litter and filth that people feel entitled to share at their leisure with no consequence. If we all behaved this way the world would truly be an embarrassment to walk around in. To the left of the road at the top is an easel with a dog showing the paintings to two other dogs. This is me the artist trying to explain the message of this painting as I am to you now. In visual representation and now literal. I am here to help you the viewer be more conscious about your actions. Be more friendly, more helpful, aware, and respect this planet. Be proud of your life. You are lucky enough to experience this place whether you think it is amazing or crap, it is a miracle you are even here enjoying the air you breathe and heaven forbid get to enjoy the arts, music, culture, and a few good days to remind you it is all worth it. This is your story….don’t be like the animals. And if you know or see someone who is behaving like an animal…. call them out on it. You might be doing us all a bigger favor than you know.
to be continued.
“Mother Nature’s Wrath” Right panel
Welcome to the right side of “Mother Nature’s Wrath”. It is April 30th, 2014. I live in LA and I woke up to an earthquake! I am not kidding! My cat was sleeping on my legs, jumped up and I guess we were up for the day. I brewed up some coffee and here I am with you discussing “Wrath” for you.
What a perfect way to start my day talking about Mother Nature and all her power. The right side of Wrath is all about that. 3 big skulls represent an entire species wiped out. Mankind is nowhere to be seen other than a few bones. I chose early man skulls to represent mankind in passing. I feel like we are still in our early stages and need to get wiser or we are doomed. The faint glow of the campfires in the eyes of the big skull represent not only the short time from the extinction event but also the beacon to the new dominant species that an entire species was wiped out and ask “Why?” The animals all living out their lives in a giant metaphor of lessons not learned. The past is always a tool to be better than we were before…. and yet an entire planet lives it’s life again in the same error and only a few recognize it is a path of destruction. The masses of lives play out the same and only a few who know better can not train the many who are going down the slippery slope. As an artist I use my tools of paint, metaphor, story and perspective to jolt as many as I can to not follow the path of the animals. If you haven’t figured out yet. WE ARE THE ANIMALS! We are far from civilized in many respects. We hide behind our clothes, houses, families, war, metaphors, innuendos, and trivia. We feed off the weak as much as we help them. I feel we are animals in every way. This is us without the masks. Did you find yourself on this painting yet? I hope you did. Hopefully you own both sides…. easier to find yourself on WRATH Left panel and right. Maybe you are dead already. Ouch. Hope you aren’t.
I should mention though this painting I am discussing here is that of one side of the painting only. This is the early years for the animals. The just becoming conscious or “aware” that “we” the animals are in total control and starting to become a dominant force in the earth’s circle and it’s evolution. This moment in this painting is the happy bliss and total disregard for the past extinctions. The animals don’t see the skulls at all. The animals have no idea they are planted deep in metaphor and intense history. Just living out their lives….. some plotting big changes, some training others to become something they weren’t ready for, and others just being simple…. this is the last epoch they will experience this ignorant bliss.
Ok your favorite part, the details in order of importance. The ark is in the upper left. This is the reseeding of the planet. This the reason the animals are here without mankind! They were SAVED out of the kindness of MOTHER. I wanted to put tornadoes and fire too but just not enough room for all that destruction too. And you can see how high up the ark is…. this entire painting was underwater at one point. These canyons were carved by intense water movement, storms, endless rain, and shaped these skulls for you to witness. Next the animals around the money campfire. No they aren’t burning money. They are inventing it! This is ground zero remember. A new society, a new chance to be civil in ANY way. These conniving little creatures are discussing a trade instrument which will pave the way for an easier commerce vessel which will fuel exchange for the animals. M O N E Y! Great ideas and stories come in think tanks around a camp fire. This is the invention of money here. ( You can burn it too if you want! Ha!). I am sure no great bliss is complete without the scene and phrase “The elephant in the room”. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss. The elephant scene in Wrath is proving to be a hot little area. These elephants are peacefully enjoying an early evening of family time. The two parent elephants are truly happy and experiencing a moment of bliss in the afterglow of the television. Their child is totally mesmerized by the computer and needs nothing. Remote controls, TV’s, beer, electronic babysitter ( computer) and mind numbing TV glow. “This is the Life” they say to themselves…. domestic bliss. Completely forgetting their humble history of roaming the sweet plains of the Serengeti way back when. They don’t feel like animals any more. And they are never going back to fighting tigers and jackals. This is home. The past melts away quickly here. I have almost forgotten about the earthquake too.
The white tiger next to the elephants is having a quiet time with a beer. He growls at the giraffes a bit in a moment of primordial past. This tiger is civilized too. He no longer needs to chase his food down. The giraffes question that evolution as well for a split second. See these animals were once savages too, it is in their DNA….and this DNA is fading to a modern version of savage. Like we humans are now. This exchange is the epicenter of the evolutionary movement toward being civil. The hunt for food is over….. now the hunt is for jobs…. and money to survive. To work for shelter, food, and now fun stuff like beer and phones! I almost put baseball caps on the giraffes, and gold chains…. just too cheesy. But it was my chance to add the “commerce” part of this painting. Basically I digressed to the phones, TV’s, and motorcycles as clearly they shop for toys now.
Next up above the tiger is the cougar taking a selfie! A significant part of this animal evolution is self worth and the importance of image. Animals just use to see their reflection in a calm pool of water, now the invention of the mirror. OH MY! A shift in appearance surly ensued. Now pretty can be manipulated to achieve dominance in society…. here they go!. Seeing the selfie craze now is just off the charts. Selfie sticks…. I could go on and on here. We no longer ask a stranger to take a picture, or heaven for bid ask a friend…. we just shoot ourselves now. And so do the animals. Have you figured out these animals are a metaphor for us yet? Ok moving on. Let’s check out the DOGS OF WAR! The two German Shepherds with the 50 caliber machine gun are tucked away in the nose of the biggest skull in the painting. This isn’t a normal gun. It is an EVOLVER. This isn’t a killing machine, this gun mutates the victim’s DNA to evolve and become civil. More than civil, to become mindless workers, comfortably numb consumers. These dogs of war are the instigators to move the less evolved animals to become civilized. To force the animals who weren’t ready or wanted to become civil to do so. Like today for US in the real world. Think of all the engineers forcing us into the future with all their gadgets. Times are always changing, the future comes at break neck speed. THIS SCENE reflects that pace…. it comes at machine gun speed! EVOLVE or get left in the primordial dust. MOVE ALONG, catch up, or even better….. be faster than machine gun pace and own the future. As an artist I need to be that fast…. to catch your attention. You have seen it all right?…..It is my job to prove you haven’t….. BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM! That’s my machine gun coming at cha’ !!!!!! Above the machine gunners is the band. These animals are in the band fashion of the civil war era. I imagine these animals are in war with themselves now. Do we evolve? Or do we behave like we always have, like animals. At this moment in this painting I believe it is at the cusp where many animals just want to be animals…. but that damn evolver gun is pushing the future so fast. They cannot stop the future from coming. The band is the theme of this moment in time. They are like the band in TITANIC when it was going down. What else can we do, but do what we do best go down with the team….. for better or worse the band plays on. As an artist myself. I record the times…. I don’t pick sides…. I just tell the story. I imagine myself in that band as much as I see myself painting…. in the painting! Speaking of evolving or not. There below the dogs of war is the monkey on a tricycle. This is the simpleton in the painting. He would rather not evolve. The tricycle is about as far as he would like to take it….a nice simple mode of transport for him and his bananas. I assume he is on his way to forage for more bananas….certainly not the latest iphone. And to show the opposite of that is the Baboon Rickshaw! Here is the baboon working…his job is to rickshaw animals up the hill. This monkey in tow no longer needs to walk. He has employed the rickshaw. This scene is especially important because this shows how technology and employing others creates a lack of interaction. The monkey is mesmerized by his phone, no longer appreciating the wonderful view and connections missed around him. Even a nice conversation with his driver. Also he is missing the metaphor and big message of the skulls. THE STORY OF WHY THE HUMANS WENT EXTINCT. He is probably watching kittens on youtube or something. Or? Insert what he doing on his phone. Whatever it is it isn’t good enough for me. All the while the baboon rickshaw is taking it ALL in. And probably better for it.
What could the nose of the left skull ( ark on his head) be about? These are the animals that get stuck being bread for food purposes only. I have heard of only a few creatures that actually breed other creatures purely for the sake of food. This chicken and pig get caught in an unfortunate never ending circle of never evolving and being food. The clock spins away and they drag the arms of the clock around as a curse. The clock represents forever…. the hour glass represents each of these specific animals life passing just to be food. Captive till being eaten. We do it too animals as humanely as possible however….just being born into this at all is truly sad….especially if they were given a better chance might change their evolution.
The zebras watching the monkey paint… that is me telling the story to you. I love adding a little culture into these pieces and almost thank you for collecting my work and remind you I am happy painting for you to enjoy my work. Let me just say thank you again right here!Next to that is just a bad ass tiger. I think he wants to jump down and eat the chicken and pig. The animals are still eating eachother…. just in a civilized human way now?
Last but not least….moving to the upper right. The foxes and their farm tucked away represents the only animals on this side in touch with the environment. As farmers they are the most in tune with the land, environment, and changes to climate. This fox with the binoculars is actually looking straight at Mother Nature ( both panels are needed to see this). He is the ultimate witness of the earths peril and realizes things are taking a turn for the worse. He will warn the others….but as a simple farmer he is no match for the 1 percenters on the other panel……evolution is getting the best of him and his farm. And what better way to drown out his sorrows? A sip of wine from his crop. He grows grapes. And just like the humans before him…. he slips into a comfortable numb demise. That is also why the wine crops rest on the head of the skull…. The humans calmed their senses with the wine as well….. And the circle continues. What was the ultimate downfall of the animals I want you to ask yourself….. and which one are you most guilty of as a member of mankind? Or is it too many things we can’t control? This is the story of us….. please be mindful of your behavior and try to be kind to mother nature. She is watching……Thanks again for collecting my work. This painting is meant to help everyone be a little better if we can…….. don’t be like the humans in this painting. They didn’t make it.
Description coming soon.
#10 in the series.
“Saravana”right panel #11 in the series
“Saravana” right panel.
Welcome to 11th addition to the Daftpixel series. This original airbrush acrylic painting on canvas stands 40’ x 60”. Daftpixel’s take on Buddhism. The left panel is the Nirvana side of this diptych and the right panel is the struggle to obtain Nirvana. Here we are going to dive deep into the struggle ( the right side). As a buddhist we learn life is a series of vicissitudes. We find ourselves constantly dealing with life and what it throws at us. Frustrating at every turn with suffering, terrorism, war, intolerance, sickness, weakness….and eventually we die. Suffering has a cause and we are constantly trying to undue this feeling or replacing it with joy. We struggle to be relevant in ourselves and our relationships. We create these groups of pains called Skandhas, roughly translated as bundles or heaps. Saravana is the name of the painting however this woman depicted here has a name…oh let’s just name this precious woman Sara! Look at this beautiful woman hand carved in towering misty mountains, deep turquoise oceans, and maze laden skies. She keeps her head held high and mighty as all the “Skandhas” of life flow around her. See she has one special quality that she will reveal as you gaze through all her many curves and valleys. She is a blistering buddha student working her way toward Nirvana. After showing this painting for the first summer now I realize how many people do not know what nirvana means so here is a quick definition. The term “nirvana” is most commonly associated with Buddhism, and represents its ultimate state of soteriological release and liberation from rebirths in “samsara.” We will talk about samsara more later. This right panel is completely about samsara and will get to that too. Nirvana is synonymous with a perfect quietude, freedom, highest happiness, liberation from samsara, the repeating cycle of birth, life and death. Sara is a hard core practicing Buddhist. With every moment she meditates, she lives in a right mindfulness, she practices total AWARENESS and ONENESS. She has ended her suffering ( well almost) she is abandoning her expectations and relationship needs. She is extinguishing all pain and suffering through understanding this is part of samsara. Much of the drama is drama quite often out of her control, she practices Consciousness and shedding of “the ego”. I can go on and on about samsara and nirvana which each panel describes as a religion however I do need to get to the actual metaphors in the painting so please do your own research on these two terms as they pertain to the religion to best know the background traditions to each panel. Let’s get into the what is actually happening with each character now.
Sara as I have named her is the definition of a spiritual soldier. A warrior of egoless, conscious and yes beautiful effort. Every moment she lives with you she is a proud example of how life can be free of poisons and eventually all the fires around us. Although she hasn’t completed her learnings and true mastery she is ever so close to experiencing Nirvana. She is on the cusp of her last shedding of the 3 fires and ending her cycle of rebirth. All I can say is she is in an awesome place and I hope you get that feeling when you look at her as a person…. not her landscape. Yes she is the culmination of many parts all of which may seem ugly, painful, and downright sad, however these are the parts that make her absolutely the magnificent creature she is. She has done the work, she has had the experiences which make life real, she has negotiated the roughest roads, the steepest hills, the most brutal heartbreaks and she shines like pure light. All the disappointment anyone could handle and all the patterns of craving are behind her now. This is an evolved person, nothing can stop the magnificent peace she is heading toward. She looks up to the Buddha master to her left and she is ready in every way to experience the untarnishable abundance of oneness that a master embraces. She can stumble along the way still like we all do even as masters of our journey to consciousness, and that is understandable as we are all human and prone to mistakes. This is Sara and I am glad to introduce her to you as a humble human artist.
I am not buddhist by the way however I enjoyed every minute learning the religion and updating the imagery associated with it. When doing my research I couldn’t believe how outdated the paintings, drawings, and photos were describing the visual experience of Buddhism. I guess all religions need a visual update and that is my life calling. I embrace the spirit world and conscious air we all can breathe. I open my arms to all religions and struggles we all go through to get to the juice of life and beyond. As an artist this is my goal to welcome everyone, everything to the magical world of art. The connections I experience as an artist to the galaxy are profound. I find endless moments of beautiful clues that we are not alone in this world and these lessons we experience are here for a reason. Nobody is privileged enough to escape getting the hard lessons were are all destined to receive. It is my loving duty to prove to you throughout my career that you are loved beyond your wildest dreams and many times you may forget, but remember the little things , those clues , those glimpses into someone else’s heart that shined on you in the tiniest ways and that my friend is the glimmer of what all day can be. See that is the nirvana and it is knocking at your door if you want to open it. I already have. Sara is me too, she is all of us. She is the foundation for the chance to hit nirvana everyday. Spiritually sexy, consciously creative, and intentionally interstellar. Woo that felt good!……….Now I have to come back to earth and describe all her lovely trips, turns, and and hang ups that make her so epically human.
That was a whopping 3 paragraphs before we got into what I call the daftpixel engine… the details baby. The details make us what we are right? The absolute hidden mastery that carved us into the person we are and will be. Ooh where to we begin? Ha!… let’s follow my eye as I would follow the details in this painting.
First detail I want you to see is the young man on fire running across the cement plank at the bottom. He is “samsara”. He is the burning we all feel when something sucks. Every single character in this painting has been burnt in some way. This guy burns for all of them combined. Maybe he has been through all of their pain already, or maybe he has only experienced a few of them and is radically over it. You decide! He represents martyrdom. An exaggerated suffering to obtain sympathy or admiration. It is brutally rendered here and I have lost many an art sale do to him and that is ok because I embrace this guy most of all. See he is to me the highest example of sacrifice. The biggest one of all…life. As an artist I have sacrificed everything for my art. I shed everything for art. I die for paintings like this, and everyone I paint I feel alone and sacrificial. Life is a beautiful thing full of sacrifices and I have traded my life for art. Ok enough about me again. This particular guy sacrificed his life for his religion. Many monks gave their lives in protest over China’s 56 year-long occupation of Tibet. Some of the most graphic images I have ever seen of these self-immolations brought feelings of the harshest pains we experience. I hope no one takes this painting literally and does something horrifically real world. This detail is for the purpose of art and symbolism. If this real thing is too much for you here consider it a spiritual burn. Fire represents passion, zeal, creativity, and motivation! It is our inner light and our inner spirit. Fire requires boundaries and respect. Fire consumes but not without giving back light and warmth. Fire is well known for cleansing too. Fire destroys forests so it can fertilize the new earth. An awesome symbol we should all seize the power and unlock it’s hidden messages. For this painting it is an example of the struggles of life can tear the fabric of our souls and eventually break us if we don’t master the reason we keep getting burned. This guy couldn’t see through the drama as beautiful hints we can all be better from all the strife. We can evolve from our scars to more resilient beings. Closer to the source with every wrong turn. When our hope is at it’s weakest, this is our biggest chance to turn it around and shine! And not with gas and a lighter! This guy gave up all hope and he maybe someone you know and needs your love and understanding. May this guy be a symbol for you to shine and make some else glow with your heart, not your fist.
Next detail is the monks under the cement plank below the man on fire. They are the antithesis of the man on fire. They are the “foundation” of understanding man is burning as an eminent suffering. They have all experienced this entire painting of drama or expect it to come in some way. These monks are in training to induce consciousness and total awareness and we must be mindful this life may burn us on occasion. Meditation is an ultimate example of forgiveness, patience, relaxation, and the state of calm. These guys are the chill we should all feel as soon as we burn. Because we already expected fire and we can spiritually extinguish it immediately thanks to our practices in oneness. For example the man on fire has another symbol and that is the simple metaphorical experience we all may have in our life, getting a flat tire! Many people can turn this experience into pure anger and cursing the heavens!!!! Or simply just laugh it away and thank ourselves we didn’t get hurt. It’s a chance to pause and actually slow down! It is a moment of waiting. A moment to meditate and think this is something that happens to everyone and today it is me. It’s not the end of the world. It is a chance to enjoy the air you lost in your tire and enjoy the air you are breathing. Don’t let a metaphorical flat tire ruin your day. Be like the monks meditating.
Moving along to the tiger on the plank next to the guy on fire. This tiger I found on the internet which actually lives in a zoo in Thailand. He is starving. I guess this is a zoo that doesn’t know how to care for tigers and feed him enough. Most of the people visiting the zoo feel bad for him. In captivity and most likely under fed. He represents the everyday action we all need to survive and maybe missing our basic needs. One of my biggest problems is as an artist I am so passionate I forget to eat and generally neglect everything but the art. I am too caught up in life and my passion to care for myself. I am in my own Thailand zoo on many days. to learn from my own work as I do….I learn to treat my health better when I can. This tiger will remind me of that. Also the tiger is looking to the nirvana side of the painting. Almost dreaming life outside of the zoo can happen. And maybe it will… hopefully he practices mediation as the healthy tigers do and sleeps a lot as well. Yeah…..that’s it.
Above the tiger is the the man/ with child in the straw hat dragging his broken heart. All of us will experience a broken heart ( I hope). The most humbling life long event, many of us will recover from, however many do not. But for sure we will all carry them with us in someway. For this man he has not recovered yet. Look closer… his broken heart is two faces kissing. He misses his love and will wait for that moment when she comes back and makes his heart whole again. Ever climbing the mountain of heartbreak he feels now with baby in tow. His child holds on tight not knowing just how big that road is. The child has no idea their father is missing something as he gazes toward nirvana. A symbol of naivety that this baby too might walk the same path as his father did one day.
With all great heartbreaks comes great horrible choices after, HA! Next up for my eye is the man in Sara’s forehead pushing the cart full of bottles. He represents the burden of addiction and well drinking in particular. We all might have some vices and especially after major traumatic experience we seek out our favorite mental crutch. Imagine each bottle carrying one or many of your emotional crutches. Wine, booze, beer, cigarettes, food, sex, ( not sex with food) HA!!…….Shopping, shaming, fighting, and general reactive behavior. Or maybe you are recovering from your addiction like a recovering alcoholic and your bear you addiction throughout life as something you can never forget to abuse again. These are just imaginary bottles you wish to forget but can’t.
Ok just because they are close to the left of the boozer, let’s get to this man pushing his kids in the cart. All parents in this era and beyond will know this well. I don’t have kids but I have an eye for detail and most kids are just as addicted to smart phones as adults. This new technology is ruining social dynamics as we know it. We are pushing toward tech addicted junkies. These kids are too young to understand addiction yet are an example of how it is tearing families apart as much as it connects. This whole family is NOT paying attention to each other. Everyone is in their own world. Including the parent pushing them along the road unable to break them from their little screens even though they are rolling through the biggest metaphor of all. A real world experience. They are in the face of someone who has seen a lot more and wants to show them the way…… their parent…. but looks like the internet is winning this day over. This parent and cart also simply represents the burden of raising children in this day and age….. a new uphill battle dealing with technology and parenting. Both these cart pushers have a beautiful maze background which symbolizes the cyclical patterns we find in addiction and often lost feeling that we can’t overcome these burdens. Surrounded by towering mountains and mazes we feel tiny compared to these unsurmountable obstacles. Overwhelmed and pushing on….. these people push their carts for life.
Let’s move to the center of the maze pattern in Sara’s forehead. Tucked away between these trees in her forehead are two eagles fighting. Many times in my work, the big faces have symbolic messages in their heads which explain their state of mind. Sometimes it doesn’t for aesthetic necessity size and shape. However here it is significant. Sara is a brilliant study of life… she soars like an eagle and everyone should have chance to soar like an eagle spiritually. These two eagles are in a maze of thought. Surrounded in a maze of the mind, this area represents someone who knows better but is questioning their choices. This could be for a moment or a length of time when doubt creeps in and affects the oneness of consciousness. Self doubt is a toxic place that affects oneness. A cycle of the ego which can lead to deeper tearing of the soul. Be an eagle be strong in thought and awareness of the ego trying to fight for superiority. Be the eagle of no doubt!
To the lower right of the eagles in her forehead is my star of consumerism. The man in the straw hat with the robotic arms is chasing his joy through each purchase. Collecting material items in succession to keep himself happy is his method of operation. Buddhism states that this only leads ourselves on a search to stay happy outside ourselves. We buy something for immediate joy and soon enough our purchase becomes boring every time. Chasing moments that are destined to create an empty feeling is not the path of the evolved and this man chooses that path. The blinders he wears also suggest he isn’t trying to change….. he likes shopping till he drops. No need to change, I am sure a new toy will come out for the rest of his years and he is OK with that. He has a big basket holding all his items… they will eventually weigh him down and some will have to be sold off or thrown away to keep the journey going. Not unlike a hoarder can’t let go of many things….. he collects his happiness one item at a time.
The hourglass below “Mr Consumer” is the metaphor for the people with looming thoughts of death or sickness. Life isn’t perfect, buddhism reminds us that suffering is part of life. Health isn’t always a choice. This woman or child are experiencing a terminal health condition. It is just part of life and represented here. If you deny this part of life it will be much worse to deal with it once it comes. But to own it and expect it is much easier so life is more realistic and everything is as it should be. Don’t worry we are all dying. Nobody escapes it in this world. This is just a simple reminder it happens, calm down campers and die on that lovely path in the sky.
Sara’s eyes are made of two paths, one under the hour glass and directly across to the left is the other…. the dragon. This is as daftpixel as it gets here. From far away easily an eye squinting. Move up close and booya…..a dragon running! Also the dragon chases two ninjas or two samaurai who are also fighting each other. This dragon symbolizes the things that chase us into a rage or off a cliff. Anger and general fighting is frowned upon in the way of Buddha. Avoid the dragons in your life if you can. And in return, don’t be the dragon and make everyone run from this epic tale of learning life is just as grand without the chase. Don’t run…. walk to your nearest chill zone.
Under my two ninjas being chased by the dragon are more guys dragging their baggage. As an artist I think these two carts pushers have the most troublesome soul stealers in the painting. To the right of Sara’s nose is the guy dragging a money sign and the other a clock. I think most people wish they had more of both. For the purpose of being happy in this painting it is best to watch the over indulgence in both of these lifestyles. Use your time and money wisely. And by all means don’t let these carts become your main focus. Remember all these carts are part of the balance of life and not to be the main focus although many will try to focus on one.
What a great time to head further down to the right of Sara’s lips. A woman is on her knees staring into a box with a baby in it. The title “Samsara” above the box describes this whole painting. Each person dragging their individual baggage is exactly the definition of “Samsara”.The culmination of all these personal choices is the hiiden mistake that perpetuates “Samsara”. By not seeing the vicious circles we create in our lives, we remain in a state of clouded thought. Until we master all these carts we drag around we are destined to repeat our same mistakes. As painful as some people may see this side is… I see the beauty in the fact it is a tool to guide us to better ourselves. And this box is a “portal”… in this painting it is a portal of reincarnation. And in Buddhism, If you don’t learn from this life guess where you end up? Right back here as a child to start the process over. Or possible as another creature like the koi fish right behind the box. Reincarnation isn’t always about becoming human again. The Buddhists believe all creatures could be one of our ancestors.
And to the right of the koi fish is a man carrying to baskets with his kids in them. This was one of the first elements I put in this painting and honestly the painting got better and better after this scene. This was me getting my feet wet and trying to drum up some action. I know in some cultures there is pressure to have sons. Boys are considered better for the family for some reason. I was kind of hinting to that here. The father juggles having a son and daughter simultaneously. Teaching the boy to hunt while the girl is enjoying smelling the flowers. The basket is heavier on the sons side suggesting more weight on a tipping scale. Either way the struggles of parenting are the main focus and the subtle balance in raising two is what I wish to convey here.
Getting ever closer to the final points of this side we have the sinking ship. Again life is full of struggle here….we might lose a boat or two along the way. But we must sail on. To the right of that is my tree hugger. He doesn’t want the man above him to axe the tree down. And for many reasons this is the best way to finish the story. The tree is a metaphor for Sara’s nirvana ever growing. The first buddha master found Nirvana under the Bodi tree. And if you see the left panel of this painting he has a beautiful full grown tree. So the man with the axe is serendipitously trying to stop her Nirvana from reaching fruition.
That’s it for now….. Hopefully can get to the commentary on the Nirvana side soon. Thanks for reading!
“Saravana” left panel
#12 in the series.
“Saravana” the left panel.
This is the left panel…. Nirvana, the bliss….. once you shed all the drama of the current human condition….you start to unfold all the layers of BS that is this life. Seriously it’s not that easy. Hopefully you own the right panel of this diptych and you know what I am talking about here. I am always pleased to find out the positive thinker types and they put on the “ear muffs” to anything negative like the right side of this painting. So kudos to you folks for avoiding things to find Nirvana. But this painting is for all the folks who have spiritually matured the hard way through practice, meditation, and trial and error. Yes there are a few animals that live Nirvana because well let’s face it…. they are lucky on the food chain like lions and born into it. To just sit there and breathe the air right now like a boss….. like you are, and have a minute… to chill out and have time to read about an artist like me who gets it. You know the lion stuff. Anyway this painting is about chilling so lets dive into that. Nirvana… I can’t believe how many people don’t even know what that word means. Well if you are reading this you probably have a good idea. But you want to hear my idea. Nirvana is hard to explain as a word…. certainly more so as a painting. I could paint this subject many more times to help explain it. But again I feel it’s about something that is very hard to describe. I enjoyed reading about all the Buddha masters who didn’t want to talk about it because it is inexplicable. It is unpaintable. A magical place no one wants to describe. Sounds like Daftpixel country to me right? Yes…. that place is daftpixel….. and I did paint it. It is a feeling. Beyond a place that is with words….shed the words… the smells, the sights, the colors….nirvana is almost nothing…. when all the sensory input is gone. What do you have…..getting close to Nirvana surely. A world beyond art maybe. ………. let it all go…………. you are getting closer……. Nirvana is about ……..the space between everything. Enjoy that….. find more of it…..look for nothing and you will find the most amazing place that is Nirvana.