Thursday, August 09, 2012

On Identity

Those of you who know me well, and those of you who know me through my writing, know that one of my pet peeves is the usage of "labels" to box people and art, or art and people, into easily distinguishable categories.

One such label is the American invention of the Hispanic (now apparently not a PC term because technically it includes two European nationalities) or Latino label to pass for ethnicity and often and always wrongly for race.

What does that mean in art? And what does it mean to "Latino" artists? Does it mean anything?

If you want to hear my opinion on the subject then start by penciling in October 11, 2012, where starting at 5PM I will be presenting a lecture titled "On Identity in the Arts: What Does It Mean to be Latino?" at Montgomery College in Silver Spring, MD.

More details later...

New comic book watercolor trompe l'oeil

This image shows the new piece, including the watercolor testing and mixing on the same paper, trying to match the comic book colors of the original. In this piece I changed the dialogue box to reflect a contemporary reality that the Dark Knight would probably have to face in Gotham... I also changed the color of the exclamation point to match the letters of BA-ROOM's colors, as in the actual comic it had erroneously been printed in the reddish color of the smoke clouds.

Ba-Room! Batman and the Suicide Bomber 2x5 inches. Trompe L'Oeil Watercolor on Paper, c.2012
"Ba-Room! Batman and the Suicide Bomber" 2x5 inches. Watercolor on Paper, c.2012

A new series starts with this...

This December I'm curating an exhibition focused on Superheros and Super villains in room 116 at the Aqua Art Fair in Miami Beach.

As such, in addition to my "Naked Superheros" series, which has been well-documented in this blog and which past pieces hang in many US and European and Latin American collections, I've decided to start sort of a mixed media trompe l'oeil set of works that isolate interesting panels from existing comic books and refocuses the dialogue to make them slightly more interesting (at least to me). 

Below are the steps for the pieces... in the first phase, the panel has been done in charcoal; in the second phase, watercolors have been added to bring it closer to a comic book look -- it's important to me that they retain a "artsy" look and are not just a mirror replica of the original comic -- as a "true" trompe l'oeil would.

The Caped Crusaders Discover International Terrorism, trompe l'oeil watercolors on paper, 3x2 inches.
This is phase one of "The Caped Crusaders Discover International Terrorism," in this phase it is charcoal on paper, 3x2 inches. 

The Caped Crusaders Discover International Terrorism, trompe l'oeil watercolors on paper, 3x2 inches.
This is the whole piece of paper, showing the watercolor mixing marks on the top of the piece, searching for the right mix to achieve a close call to the comic book's original colors
And here's the finished piece, "The Caped Crusaders Discover International Terrorism," watercolor and charcoal on paper, 3x2 inches.

Future pieces in this series will have altered text in the dialogue bubbles and also embedded electronic mini LCD screens that run continuous dialogue between the characters.