‘Icons of Art’ is a five panel painting which incorporates the likenesses of artists, images from my previous works, and iconic motifs from art history.
Panel 1) Ai Weiwei and the Roadrunner: the fleeting nature of time. Weiwei is a Contemporary artist and activist from China. He uses art to bring attention to refugees, political prisoners, and climate change. Here he is depicted in a cartoon form, dropping an ancient Chinese vase on an escaping roadrunner, which is a symbol of survival. The burnt sienna earthen color of the vase became the inspiration for the color theme of the entire painting.
Panel 2) The Upside-Down-Woman and the Pink Flamingo: symbols for new perspectives and balance. The Woman appears in many of my paintings and represents trying to gain insight by looking at the world from a new perspective. The pink flamingo, on one leg, is a symbol of balance and frivolity.
Panel 3) Joy and Bliss: discovering the place of inner peace where the soul can rest. Joy is a figure I created with inspiration from the Book of Kells. Even after painting her hundreds of times, she still makes me smile. The Buddha borrowed from eastern religion has become a modern cultural icon reminding us to slow down and breathe.
Panel 4) Andy Warhol and Las Meninas: the creation of iconic imagery. Andy Warhol is an icon of pop art and celebrity culture; his art and his image are inseparable. The image of the doll like child in the giant skirt is an image painted by Velázquez in 1656. She is instantly recognizable, even in cartoon form, and shows us the power of the artist to create iconic images.
Panel 5) Coyote and Yayoi Kusama: costume as identity. The back-to-back figures of Coyote in costume (a frequent motif in my work) and Kusama in a polka dot dress represent the dual nature of human as animal. Kusama is a contemporary Japanese artist and her artwork is inseparable from her philosophy of universality, and seeing the oneness of all things encompassed in the shape of a circle.