For my Global project I have continued exploring the possibilities of street art. Like I did with my local project, I started this project by looking at environmentalist street art. However, I soon realised that I am more interested in exploring colour and pattern. I’m particularly interested in Brazilian Muralist, Eduardo Kobra’s, work. He utilises bright colours, layers and bold lines to create kaleidoscopic patterns throughout his work (Figuerola, N.) His combination of vintage photographs and kaleidoscope rainbow patterns is simply eye catching and gives the viewer a ‘sense of memory and nostalgia’ (Kenoyer, 2012).
Fig 1. Eduardo Kobra – Mural Based on Alfred Eisenstaedt Photograph V-J Day in Times Square (detail), 2012, New York, NY. (Kobra, 2012)
Fig 2. Eduardo Kobra – Portrait of Albert Einstein, 2013, Los Angeles, CA. (Kobra, 2013a)
Fig 3. Eduardo Kobra – Portrait of Oscar Niemeyer, 2013, São Paulo, photos by Alan Teixeira. (Kobra, 2013b)
As well as Kobra, Puerto Rican artist, Jose Di Gregorio, has had a huge influence on my work. Gregorio creates vibrant colourful works, often utilising galaxy patterns. His recent works have been described as new-futurism: which focuses on merging new media with traditional methods (Ruyak, 2015). He uses a lot of metallic colours which are aesthetically pleasing. Gregorio describes his own work as a mix of geometric patterns, celestial landscape and colour gradients (Ruyak, 2015).
Fig 4. 68 Points. Mixed medium on wood, 36″ x 36″2015. (Di Gregorio, 2015).
Fig 5. Jose Di Gregorio. Mural Los Angeles, CA, 2016. 12′ diameter. (Di Gregorio, 2016a).
Fig 6. Jose Di Gregorio. Mural Mexico City, Mexico, 2016. (Di Gregorio, 2016b).
In the work ‘Ko au ko koe, ko koe ko au’ (2016) I set out to experiment with bold colours, lines, shapes and patterns. Further exploring patterns of the sky, such as galaxies, rainbows, cloudy-skies, sunsets and sunrise. I think of the work as an open-ended painting that can always be rearranged or added to. I have employed processes of colour blending and layering to add depth, perception and create illusion. I also utilised stencil techniques to create various layers.
Process photos below:
Although the main focus in creating this piece was to experiment with spray paint, it has very much become a self-portrait. The whale tail holds an eagle like figure, both are creatures which hold huge significance to me as a Māori. The whale symbolises an ancestor of my Mothers Kahutia-te-Rangi from Ngāti Porou. This gentle giant holds huge significance to my tribe because he is a child of Tangaroa (Māori God of the Sea) who we believe saved our ancestor Paikea from drowning. The eagle symbolises an ancestor of my father Te Haaro-o te-Kaahu, from Ngāti Kahungunu. He was said to be the keeper of stories. I see the combination of the two ancestors as myself, this is why I have title the piece ‘Ko au ko koe, ko koe ko au’ which translate to ‘I am You, You are Me, We are one’.
This work also touches on the global whaling issue. Because the Whale is an ancestor of mine I didn’t want to create a realistic picture of what whaling is; bloody and gruesome, but rather raise awareness and highlight the beauty and magnificence of a Whale.
For me this ‘Global’ project has run a lot smoother than the ‘Local’ project. My time management has definitely improved, I worked slowly but consistently throughout this project, largely focusing on research. The execution of final composition is quite sloppy, but I am happy with the ideas and methods utilised in its’ development and production. I am more aware of what works, what doesn’t and what I still need to work on when utilising spray paints. I’ve learnt a few techniques to make research more interesting for myself, and in doing so my researching and writing skills have become more organised and efficient. I’m still quite fussy in what I choose to show other people and I know that I should be more open to having discussions around why I think the work is unsuccessful. Although the amount of reading I do has increased, I still don’t have the level of understanding I would like to have when it comes to ‘the art world’ and ‘art-terms’. Like always, the quality of the work could be improved and that’ll happen obviously through more practice. Now that I have my new Ironlak paints I can’t wait to do so. I am definitely keen to continue exploring the possibilities in street art, further experimenting with oil and water paints. Eventually I hope to display my work on the streets, in public spaces.
Figure 1. Kobra, E. (2012). Retrieved 16 June 2016, from http://www.widewalls.ch/ww-apps-lib/uploads/Eduardo-Kobra-Mural-Based-on-Alfred-Eisenstaedt-Photograph-V-J-Day-in-Times-Square-detail.jpg
Figure 2. Kobra, E. (2013a). Portrait of Albert Einstein. Retrieved 16 June 2016, from http://www.widewalls.ch/artist/eduardo-kobra/
Figure 3. Kobra, E. (2013b). Portrait of Oscar Nieymere. Retrieved 16 June 2016, from http://www.widewalls.ch/ww-apps-lib/uploads/Eduardo-Kobra-Portrait-of-Oscar-Niemeyer-Sao-Paolo-2013-photos-by-Alan-Teixeira.jpg
Figure 4. Di Gregorio, J. (2015). 68 points. Retrieved 16 June 2016, from http://josedigregorio.com/artwork/3752894-68-Points.html
Figure 5. Di Gregorio, J. (2016a). Mural Los Angeles, CA. Retrieved 16 June 2016, from http://josedigregorio.com/artwork/3968411-Mural-Los-Angeles-CA.html
Figure 6. Di Gregorio, J. (2016b). Mural Mexico city, Mexico. Retrieved 16 June 2016, from http://josedigregorio.com/artwork/3948371-Mural-Mexico-City-Mexico.html
Figuerola, N. Street artists biographies. Retrieved May 22, 2016, from Street Art Bio, http://www.streetartbio.com/#!about-eduardo-kobra-biography/cw54
Kenoyer, J. (2012). Brazilian mural artist Eduardo Kobra. Retrieved 22 May 2016, from http://hifructose.com/2012/07/10/brazilian-mural-artist-eduardo-kobra/
Ruyak, B. (2015). The Art of Jose Di Gregorio. Retrieved 6 June 2016, from http://www.capradio.org/61019