Avatars: Together and Alone

This series of prints draws inspiration from 19th Century etchings, Byzantine ikons, digital avatars and tattoo art. Four digitally created avatars (Lani, Kai, Roy and Lee) take on poses that represent nuances of relationships when joined together, and nuances of states of being when alone. Created using a variety of digital techniques, the drawings head in a different direction from photorealistic representation; they appear to be smooth when seen from a distance while breaking into abstractly sinuous swirls of color when seen up close. My goal is to examine the human condition and express the findings through imagery. Each image examines different aspects of that human condition. Similar to Byzantine art, the drawings are stylized in terms of their geometry. While contemporary figuration often aims to realistically or naturalistically represent geometry and form, these drawings aim to realistically represent states of mind and being. Life, love, death and other human concerns are channeled through the bodies of the avatars, ironically using nonhuman beings to explore the human condition. Each image expresses its own state of being.

Bound by Love: Lani and Roy

Digital Print on Paper
40" x 40"

Bound by Love: Lani and Roy

Digital print on paper
Detail

Bound by Love: Lani and Roy

Digital print on paper
Detail

Bound by Love

In “Bound by Love,” Lani and Roy are like two magnets, drawn to each other one moment but repelling each other the next; they are caught in a Byzantine moment of equilibrium between embrace and separation. The piercings represent the willing submission to the pains of love, while the chain that binds them has the potential for both pleasure and pain; love gives and takes, sometimes at the same time.

Bound by Mortality: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water

Digital print on paper

40" x 40"    

Bound by Mortality: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water

Digital print on paper

Detail

Bound by Mortality: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water

Digital print on paper

Detail

Bound by Mortality: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water

In “Bound by Mortality: Earth, Air, Fire and Water,” Lani, Kai, Roy and Lee represent the four classical elements. Death is a recurring aspect of the human condition that ties all humans together, and the four elements give life but in the end ultimately still yield to death. While the figures each align with an elemental cardinal compass point, a simple rotation of the configuration creates a different association for each person; rather than the exclusive domain of any individual, the elements are part of us all, waning and growing throughout life and afterlife.

Lani Contemplates Eternity

Digital print on paper
 

Lani Proposal, Perth, Australia

Aerosol paint on brick

Lani Contemplates Eternity

Digital print on paper

Detail

Lani Contemplates Eternity

In “Lani Contemplates Eternity,” the figure gazes into the distance. The background is a swimming sea of lines, perhaps the modern equivalent of the Byzantine gold leaf field. A network of variegated lines on her face represents inner conflicts that might appear large when looked at closely, but that fuse together when seen from the vantage point of eternity (or even just of tomorrow).

Perseverence

Digital print on paper
40" x 40"
 

Perseverence

Digital print on paper

Detail

Perseverence

Digital print on paper

Detail

Perseverence

In “Perseverance,” Roy is a heroic figure stretching his body through space, taking a leap of faith and hoping to grasp something of value without regard for the inevitable pain that comes from crashing to the earth. No matter that he might merely be an ultimate Frisbee player laying out to grasp the disc for a scoring point; somehow the potential for successfully outreaching those who want to interfere with Roy’s destiny is motivation enough, whether in the end perseverance results in success or a near miss.