“I continued onto my path of destruction, devouring all the scenery around me to construct this scene onto the canvas.” —Salvador Dali
Everything is in ruins; I’m walking toward the sound of blaring music and lights in the distance. As I walk closer, the music is getting more intense. I slowly crouch down on the floor to sneak closer to what is ahead. As soon as they sense my presence, the crowd disperses. The music continues to play in a loop as the musicians run away as well. I quickly jump down to follow the crowd. The hunt has begun.
The first person I see is a panicking astronaut waddling away from me. I open my gigantic mouth and begin consuming everything into me. The colors of the astronaut strip from his body and land on my canvas. One by one, his body parts stretch from him as he enters the black hole and lands onto this new frontier. Each part of the astronaut is consumed and processed out of my mind onto the canvas. Every single detail on the astronaut is translated into binary. The code translates into the color and shine of the helmet, polished like a black pearl. Billboards and tons of cement swirl into this black hole, covering my canvas.
I am Shiva, the transformer; everything in this world will be destroyed by me in order to bring creation onto my canvas. I put on my headphones and prepare for Shiva’s Cosmic Dance of Destruction. As the music plays, each beat brings a new stroke on the canvas. I am prepared to end this world. The crowd and surrounding scenery all land on my canvas as I enter into euphoria.
“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” —Pablo Picasso
As I came out of this trancelike state, the music continues to play on while I look at the creations that were stolen from the other world. Everything in my fantasy world is destroyed. Darkness dissipates from my room as I illuminate it with light. While my artwork is stolen from my own mind, the physical world also influences what goes on in my head. From the linen of my bed to the pencils on my desk placed in a subtle pattern, everything in my room molds an idea. As I turn on the television, a torrent of information streams into my brain. Looking out the window, the vivid light paints a scene of the outside world.
Everywhere I go, I take in the scene around me. Every interaction has an influence on what I am creating. But above all, pop culture has played the most direct role in what I create. I stay up late watching Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell to be inspired by his classic post-cyberpunk world. Elements of the show make an appearance in my recent works, such as the feeling of a future world. By going to concerts, surrounded by the works of local artists illustrating their own world on the stage, I capture my favorite bits and emulate them. The stage is filled with illustrations and illuminated by streaks of strobe lights. With everything in sync, the DJ manipulates it into the most beautiful color patterns that excite the entire crowd. The world slowly reconstructs to what I experience with my five senses. Each experience molds itself in a different perception.
“If you give a meaning to certain things in my paintings it may be very true, but it is not my idea to give this meaning. What ideas and conclusions you have got I obtained too, but instinctively, unconsciously. I make the painting for the painting. I paint the objects for what they are.” —Pablo Picasso
I forge the melted steel with each click of the mouse; the melted steel becomes the borders of the picture. I venture into my world, searching for what would best fit this color scheme. The color melts onto the canvas with the splashing of the paint bucket tool. Shadows slowly creep up onto the edge of the canvas as I play with the settings. Selecting the paintbrush tool, a splash of scarlet-red blood splatters onto the canvas. The movement of my hand slowly constructs a word in the middle of the canvas: INTENSE. With the click of the mouse, a gust of wind blows all the rich color off the screen, creating a beautiful faint blood color on the word and pattern. The piece is finished. I call my teacher over. Thousands of explanations come from my teacher. Many of the explanations were not even part of my original idea. When creating art, ideas come; however, I develop unconscious meanings for the pieces. The piece does not come alive until it is viewed and given meaning by the audience.
What is this world which I mentioned? It is my subconscious. Every day it continues to fill my head with ideas. Unaware, my eyes are like the lens of a camera snapping thousands of photos stored and sorted in my mind. When I create, a fantasy world is illustrated through the collection of photos stored. Through thousands of places, faces, and memories, I destroy and re-create in detail to create what I call mine. I steal, destroy, and create.