I've always found anti-social imagery compelling. It challenges ones common sense; a persons sense of decency and their idea of "Good & Evil". It also can adversely reaffirm ones core instinctual concept of right and wrong and, if you are so inclined, bolster a persons "Fuck You" attitude about the world around them. So in this regard such "taboo" subjects prove to be different masters for different servants.
I find the hazy margin of ambiguousness an image commonly held as offensive exists in fascinating. How is it that one image is acceptable to one person while it causes another to shrink in terror or sneer in disgust? Inside this line in the sand so to speak are the real questions.A question that cuts to the core of the subject matter itself. What is right and what is wrong? If there is such a thing why can't everyone agree what it is in the first place? And more over an even deeper question arises from that as well. If we are merely animals then wouldn't the horrendous nature of such a dark symbology just be an extension of our core instinct to annihilate what ever gets in out way? Finally where do you fall INSIDE the line of demarcation ? This taboo no mans land?
While I obviously Cringe at the idea of romanticizing Nazism in any form and just so I'm clear I don't feel the manner in which this painting was conceived does that by the way, what is it about this painting that identify with and even like? Why would I chose to spend my time painting such negativity into the world? Perhaps it's my desire to be left alone by most people? Nothing in the world could possibly top this as a way of letting people know to stay the hell away from you. Still I feel the composition grasps on to a certain charm as rotten as the core may be.
My painting is drawn in a style indicative of 80's tattooing A period of time I view as more cut and dry compared to today's blurred line of reality and fantasy. Of real and unreal. Of scripted reality Vs. cold harsh brutal reality.Of black and white (no pun intended).
Happiness and "feeling good" is what our society is based upon here in the West after all. This belief sprung from the 1960's, flourished in the 70's, matured in the 80's and 90's. And now at the start of a new decade in a new millennium the cracks have begun to form at the base of this structure from the shear weight of all of its moral and social entitlements. And of its own grotesque vices as well....I'm Left to ponder: what are the consequence of this way of life both good and bad going to be for us all?
I feel I made this painting because I just felt like adding a few more needles to Joe camel's back so to speak. Not for some kind of pro-nationalist statement or an affirmation of some kind of bloated illogical racial idea but because I felt like saying fuck this easygoing softness in us. I want the viewer to reaffirm their commitments. I want them to think past the fleeting pathetic pre-programmed plastic knee jerk television has drummed into them. I want the viewer to connect to the painting in a manner that causes either anger and resentment or praise and adoration. And ultimately I want the viewer to emerge from the moral no man's land that so many in today's world apathetically wonder through recommitted. I want battle lines to be draw so we can bring last centuries tired arguments and the beginning of this centuries short comings and false promises to a close. In essence I want the house of cards to fall.
They keep coming so I keep painting them. Kyle Sajban did the the Beautiful pin up girl. When I saw it I figured a Nice Horny wolf would an appropriate compliment to her. I really appreciate the over all rollo feel to this painting. This was Super fun to do.Kyle's a brilliant artist and tattooer. He works at Monster ink in stony point New York. Look him up!
I will be working at the Philadelphia tattoo convention this weekend with Jinx proof and olde city tattoo. I am honored to be able to tattoo along side of them. If you'd like to get tattooed by me I'll be there. Or you can call my studio at 860-832-8411 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
I've been working on this painting for tattooer Karl Hedgepath off and on for about 3 weeks in between the moving and unpacking I mentioned previously. I tried to attach some real meaning to this one. Each Animal represents the the Chinese zodiac animal for each member of his family including his own.
The "arm of doom" design in the center of the painting is a redux of a tattoo on Karl that Dan Higgs tattooed on him back in the days when he was still tattooing. I essentially called it back in to service for his family as a sort of new coat of arms for them.
The green background has a slight metal flake effect in it that I added to the paint I used. Basically I couldn't get the desired effect that I wanted on my test sheet so I resorted to mixing my own paint instead.In the end I feel it turned out to be a pretty effective maneuver. You can't really see it in the picture, but in person it manages to be subtle yet eye catching and adds to the whimsical nature of this painting. Karl expressed that he didn't want this painting to be scary or violent since it was for his family so I tried really hard to go for a more modest look.
Over all I'm very pleased with the outcome. Karl has been a huge supporter and collector of my work for a while now so it was an honor to do this for his family.
The skull and praying mantis tattoo is on a long time client and friend named Mary Heitzenrater. I jumped at the chance to do this one. Super fun!
So I recently moved my family to West Hartford and I haven't really been able to paint in the capacity that I'm used to because of having to move and unpack ect. But now that that's almost over I've started painting again surrounded by boxes and boxes and boxes of crap. So here are a few tattoos and a collaborative drawing that my friends and I made during the great blizzard of 2010 down in Baltimore MD which incidentally ruined the convention that weekend. HA! The list of contributors on the drawing are as follows: Paulie B/S from Glenn's tattoo service in NC, Myself, Marcus Mancini from My shop, Teddy Safarian From Tattoo paradise in DC, Rick brown from Empire tattoo in NC, Jason Goldberg who owns Olde City tattoo in Philly PA and Tomas Garcia who is in between Spain and tattoo paradise. I drew the skull and dagger with the rain clouds and ribbon that reads 2010.
The Hand tattoo is on tattooer Kyle Slayban of Monster Ink in New York, The Rick Brown inspired Fudo Myo sword is obviously a work in progress on one of my best and most faithful Clients Tim Davis who I did the neck tattoos on a few blog entries back. The Folky style Namakubi (roughly meaning Severed head in Japanese) is on another one of my other favorite clients Arielle Zaczyk.
Thanks for looking and commenting! See y'all soon.