At an outdoor art venue, this young man saw my art on display and said, “Radical! I love this! I want to be in one of your paintings.”
I took one look at the tattoos that adorned his body and thought, “This could be a challenge.” And I can’t resist a challenge.
As I put this piece together, what intrigued me was the idea: who is the artist? I presented him as a graffiti artist. So does that make him the artist of this painting? What about the artist who spent hours putting the tattoos all over the young man’s body? Isn’t he worthy of artistic credit? Or am I the artist because I put it all together and painted everyone and everything?
I think the truth is: all three of us are the artists of this piece, and perhaps any more. Who inspired the tattoos, for example? They may be interpretations of other artists’ works. And the graffiti on the wall may have been inspired by many artists. Inspiration begets inspiration. Art is simply a reflection of the world around us.
I had a splendid time painting this – my first mixed media painting. I painted the young man with oils, but the wall is a composition of acrylics, spray paint, magic markers, pencils, and crayons.
The original painting is 36” x 48”.