acrylic on cardboard
Several years ago, while living in Japan, I saw a young man selling paintings on the streets of Shibuya. I only caught a glimpse of them as I was swept along by the advancing crowd, but they were colorful little pictures with what appeared to be text accompanying them. What was most striking was the fact that they were done on cardboard, as the brown background really brought out the colors of the characters and lent a wonderful, unfussy quality to the works.
I meant to go back and perhaps buy one of his paintings, but didn't have a chance to make it back that day and never saw him in the spot again.
When I came back to America, I was casting about for something artistic to do and driving myself nuts trying to find an appropriate medium to and style to work in. The memory of the cardboard paintings came back, and within a very short time I had given myself over to painting on found pieces of the stuff the simple, colorful and somewhat stylized creatures that had been forming in my brain for some time.
The wee beasties were given even richer sustenance by my aforementioned time spent in Japan absorbing the color and design of the country, as well as the delightful melding of the cute with the slightly unwholesome.
The first I've posted here is Love Monster. This creature dates from 2007 and is one of my favorites. I imagine that Love Monster could be either the name of this particular being, or perhaps the melancholy, grammatically incomplete plea it makes to you as it hands you a disintegrating flower: "Love monster!"