24"x36" Acrylic on Canvas
On a daily basis, we submit to society without choice. This painting shows how everyday we are surrounded by people from different walks of life (judge, chef, professional football player, lawyer etc. etc.) who despite their status and roles, do not care about anything but themselves. They do things, not out of the goodness of their hearts nor to give back to society but only to the benefit of themselves.
Sometimes, negative emotions build up inside of us to the point where we are derailed from our paths and we lose sight of hope. When we can no longer contain these destructive emotions, they break us down and we just want to scream. This painting represents how we feel alone in our battles sometimes and that no one around us can empathize what we are going through. Helplessness eats away at our confidence until eventually there is nothing but a void. The balloons symbolize false hope – no matter how high a balloon can soar, it will eventually succumb to atmospheric pressures and pop
• Middle man represents the media and how the media advertises drugs, alcohol, the norm
• How the 21st century has changed a lot from previous centuries
• How bad habits are now commonly accepted, not deemed a "big deal" to many people nowadays
• We are being brainwashed by the media
• Media tries to portray society, but it ends up also dictating some new standards for society
• People end up on the streets because of continued bad habits
• Media is leading people in a bad direction -- towards bad habits that will lead them to the streets
• Instead of the media serving society, society is fulfilling the needs of the media; people are producing more scandals and are giving in to bad habits that become publicized to the world
o Authority & power
o This crown was handed over to the media
o Media didn't inherit the crown from anyone
o Media received crown because it was good at convincing & persuading others
o The media is the driver of the taxi (in the background)
• Zebra print
o Symbolizing animalistic behavior
o People are becoming more uncivilized, yet we're in an age of progress with technology
• Drink in Media's hand
o "Cheers" to bad habits
o "Cheers" to the reign of the media
12"x16" Acrylic on Canvas
This painting shows a young adult at a crossroad picking between two paths in life. On the left side, there are koi fish swimming towards the top of the painting. Koi fish symbolizes high goals for success and perseverance, as the old folktale describes a koi battling with the strong currents to reach the top of the falls because it wanted to achieve what it had set out to do. In the painting, the young adult is told by the koi that if he works hard towards his goals with determination then he will be greatly rewarded in the end. On the right side where the young adult is directing his flashlight, there are demons luring him on a darker path. The demons tempt the young adult with bright colors and extravagance, which symbolize instant gratification. This painting represents the life lesson that although instant gratification may be more tempting in the moment than hard work, it may not always be the ‘right’ choice in the long run. In life, it is vital to learn how to overcome obstacles and be perseverant. Do not settle for the simple and effortless route, rather choose the road less travelled and be brave.
24"x30" Acrylic on Canvas
In this painting, a teenage girl is locked in a car with people whom she thinks are her friends. However, the girl next to her in maroon is under the influence of drugs, hence the green, sickly coloured skin. The teenage girl comes to the realization that she does not want to be in this situation again where she can get into trouble for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She is disappointed with her friends and wonders why she cares for people who do not even care about themselves and their own wellbeing. The masked driver represents the deceit and betrayal that the teenager deeply feels, as she was led to believe by him that she is getting into a safe vehicle. The teenage girl feels like she is being held at gunpoint, as the adrenaline and fear hits her in continuous waves. She is in disbelief and shock that things she thought could only happen on television just happened right next to her. The blindfold represents how the teenage girl knows about the reality of drug abuse but does not actually want to witness it. The golden crown represents how her friends, despite not being sober, are in control of the situation, as the teenage girl is alone. The teenage girl’s tattoo on her thigh states “live with no regrets”. This is ironic, as her friends are living true to that statement but the teenage girl is in disagreement with their actions. There is a fine balance between making the right choices and living life to the fullest.
30"x40" Acrylic on Canvas
A self-portrait at my favorite place doing my favorite thing.
40"x33" Acrylic on Stock Paper
Starting from the left:
• Mask: A person with an afro, looks like nothing matters to him, living life without a care in the world
• True person: wants to have a successful life, has a lot of internal conflict, tries very hard in school but doesn’t let others know, cares a lot about other people even though others do not realize, does not know how to show affection to the people he loves
• Mask: Happy, preppy, perfectionist
• True person: carries a lot of burden, is a perfectionist because her life isn't perfect, deals with a lot of problems at home -- mom is alcoholic, dad is never home
• Mask: Serious woman
• True person: Insecure, is afraid of being seen as weak, cares a lot about what other people think, takes everything to heart -- very seriously, her husband left her because she didn't know how to have fun or take things lightly' after her divorce, she refuses to believe in love
• Mask: Angry businessman, very controlling and fierce man
• True person: A businessman who never has time for his family and kids, always out of the country, cares about his family but does not know how to clearly show his love
• Mask: Party girl, just wants to have fun
• True person: Just wants everyone to like her, doesn't always like doing bad things with her friends, just wants to fit in
Although all of these people have different problems, they all have a common theme: they are all trying to put up an image for society. They do this because they think that by acting a certain way, society will accept them. They create a new persona for themselves to ignore their problems.
Why do they want acceptance in society? Because they think that no one else is going through the same problems and they don't think people would understand. It's always easier to ignore the problems they're facing and live as a different person. Sometimes it's just easier to pretend
29.5"x39.5" Mixed Media
When cherry blossoms blossom, everything is beautiful and perfect. We wish it stayed that way forever so we can enjoy looking at it everyday and think about it and smile. However, reality is, cherry blossoms are only seasonal. They only appear once a year. And ironically, they die when they are at their prettiest stage. The cherry blossom dies when you least expect it. The cherry blossom is just like a heart on a branch; its beauty is real and fragile. A hand is there to pick the heart off before it dies. But either way, whether the heart was left on, or picked off, the heart still dies.
I made original drawings of the 26 Roman Capitals with classical proportions. I wanted to experiment with different materials with this project. I used Conte crayons, watered-down acrylic paint and black markers. I tried to give the letters a gradient effect with the Conte crayons. Then I used watered-down acrylic paint and dripped it alongside the roman capitals. After I was done painting the letters, I splattered the left-over paint residue all over the painting. Lastly, I traced the letters with black felt to make the letters look more visible from a distance.
Instructor: Richard Mehl
A visual diary of a month in my life.
Instructor: John Ruggeri
Drawings on location.