[disclaimer: This post contains swearing. You've been warned :) ]
Welcome to the first in a series of articles where I drill down on my artwork and get into the nitty gritty of why I create what I create. First on deck, one of my earliest airbrush pieces, Lord of Greed.
I won't mince words. I fucking hate greed. There's nothing wrong with wanting something. There's nothing wrong with wanting lots of something. (ie. Personally, I want freedom. I want lots of freedom.) But when the only thing you live for is more and more and MORE for the fucking sake of more then we've hit a disconnect and shit starts to go off the rails.
The concept of greed really came to light for me during the 2007 - 2008 worldwide financial meltdown. If you're not up on it there is a really great, 4 part documentary series on what occurred and it's free on Youtube. It's un-ironically called "Meltdown" and you can find part 1 here. Watch it. Then watch the rest. It's fascinating, intriguing and utterly blood-boiling all at the same time.
And it really hit home for me when it was revealed that my Father, a man who worked tirelessly his entire life to feed his family and to honour his profession, saw 40% of his retirement fund disappear...overnight...just before he retired. He did not get a year or two to let things bounce back. He was locked in. 40 years of working and he got kicked right in the teeth. By people he never even met. I can't tell you how much that pissed me off.
So that's where this painting originated from. Yes, it's political. Yes, it's emotionally charged. Yes, it's a statement. But ultimately, that's what made it worth creating.
There she is. Stunning!
I'm not exactly sure when the tentaskull became the basis for the image but when I had the idea for it, I thought is was sooooo original. Turns out, tentaskulls are all over the place. You know how they say everything's been done before...? (face palm)
I loved the image and turned it to my advantage by putting all kinds of symbolism in the art. Of course, the skull alludes to death (obv.). I used the tentacles as a way to create a big ol' dollar sign in the middle of their tangles tying the concept's of wealth and death together. Depicted across the top of the skull is the New York City skyline of Wall Street, the place where so much of the meltdown culminated. And the piece de resistance is the crown of blood that sprays up in a magnificent graphic from behind the skull. So many people were hurt by a handful of greedy pricks. It seemed fitting.
Now, I want to get something straight. I am anti greed. I am not anti money. Money is cool. Money is good. I LOVE money. The truth is, money is a tool like any other we've created in our society. It accomplishes a goal and most of the time it's just helping you to buy stuff. It's neither good nor bad. It's what we do with it that puts an ethical spin on money. The bastards who cause the meltdown got about as evil as you can get with money. Jerks.
This was a really great painting to create, a tough piece to cut my teeth on when it came to airbrushing and a solid piece on which to start building my t-shirt empire. I can't tell you how amazing it was to get my first test shirt from Printful in the mail and see just how well the artwork shone on the tee. And, after an entire year of wear and tear, the tee still looks great! Printful surpassed even my expectations and I'm hard to please.