ONCE THE BUDDHA WAS A MONKEY

Illustration, Process

“I NEVER WANT TO BE LEFT IN A ROOM WITH A MONKEY”

In case you were wondering, the project that was chosen over Sensitive Sniffles was a portrait of an ape-like monster. In the same nonsensical evening Sami found her nose watering, she admitted to me a fear, that she never wanted to be left in a room with a monkey. And like before I was on the floor laughing. (That said, monkeys are strong, erratic animals, so the fear was valid however amusing.) The absurdity and realism of the experience produced the creature that followed.

MONKEY PLAYS JOKER

Monkeys, although adorable, are a crude version of ourselves. Smart and powerful, they pose a threat to our own security both physically and symbolically. They are caricatures of men, representing our most despised traits. They are the jokers and the politicians. They have demeaned an entire race. Yet, they still have a foot in  idealized nature, in a purity we often feel detached from. This concept of the monkey as a phantom of ourselves, the animal inside we can’t escape is where I found twisted humor in Sami’s comment.

RENDERING

monkeydrawing1

Preliminary studies of horrified apes

monkeyscancr.png

Creating the face: A composite of layered blind contour images

monkey_72pp

Charcoal drawing and oil paint on gessoed masonite, 18″ x  24″. 2011

THE MONSTER

The drawing is designed to be disorienting, in your face, comical but frightening. The colors are bombastic, clown-like, broken and compartmentalized. The piece is tight and feels a bit claustrophobic. There is an underlying tension created in balanced opposites. The face is both abstract and illusionistic, shallow and deep, geometric and organic. Within the chaos a fractured image of a phantom emerges.

ONCE THE BUDDHA WAS A MONKEY HAS BEEN FEATURED IN:

Creative Quarterly 100 Best Annual 2013

Selected by international jury as one of the top 25 Fine Art  pieces of the year, featured in Creative Quarterly’s 100 Best Annual, honoring the top 100 artists, designers and photographers of 2013.

1503361_10203359980182834_1420040005325506719_n.jpg

Creative Quarterly Issue 29

CQIssue29_Monkey.png

MSU Exponent, Featured Student Artist. April 4, 2013

MSUexponent.png

Vox Populi 2012 (M.S.U. annual juried exhibition) *Received an Honorable Mention

img_3613img_3620

 

Advertisements

AHH CHU!!! Watery Nose On The Loose

Illustration, Process

I’m in the process of scanning in old projects, process journals and sketches. It’s neat to go back and revisit the journey that brought me to where I am today. One of my favorite parts about going through old drawings is stumbling upon those concepts that didn’t quite make it, the fugitives that for whatever reason were discarded or deemed less worthy.

I’M SO EMOTIONAL THAT’S WHY MY NOSE KEEPS WATERING

One project I came across that never fully materialized, was this rather absurd series inspired by  fellow artist, Sami Hinckley. After a few cocktails and high on life, Sami turned to me frantically looking for a tissue and exclaimed, “I’m so emotional, that’s why my nose keeps watering!” I burst out laughing. First at the idea of her nose having autonomous, sensitive feelings. Second, imagining that nose supplying emoltionaly rich water to a growing seed. Third, wondering whether these sporadic waves of emotion would effect the seed’s growth and health. Lastly, that somehow her nose just can’t stop pouring water. Just how much water are we talking about, how deep in are we! Luckily thing settled down a bit, we did not drown in snot, and I found a tissue for her to wipe her ‘watery’ nose.

Although that project took  another turn, I thought the sketches for this concept were particularly endearing. I’m considering making an animation or gif for the emotional nose. Because hey,  who’s to say noses don’t have feelings. Sorry for turning my back on you young nose, maybe one day we will make something of you and your fountain of emotion.

nosebw.png

Coat of Arms

Illustration

Yesterday I worked on an illustration for my brother’s most recent song, Coat of Arms. The first time he played the song for me I pictured Simon and Garfunkel riding unicorns into space.  

In tune with the 70s/80s, I made a sparkle dreamscape in the shape of a coat of arms. Referencing the Neverending story, I have a noble sphinx guarding the shield to the left. In the center, a burning sun shield inspired by Shiva. On the right, a dancing unicorn as one of the mounted supporters. The three characters describe the armed women in the song.

Stylistically, the illustration is still a bit raw. I left it as a pencil drawing, as if a kid sketched it in hopes to escape to another world, or perhaps, it was a drawing he found in a book that would transport him to that magical place.

At some point I will go back in with pinks and purples to make it into the true 80s dreamscape it was meant to be, but for now, black and white looks just fine. 

 

coatofarms_edlevel2

Check out the song here!

 

 

Support Kyle on Patreon!
www.patreon.com/kylesorenson

Her coat of arms
Was red and yellow
And blazed bright as a fire

It scorched my hand
And left a brand
A burning coat of arms

Her coat of arms
Was pink and blue
And vibrant as the sun

So light and free
It stayed with me
A dancing coat of arms

Her coat of arms
Was black and purple
And nobly restrained

So bold and stark
It left a mark
A regal coat of arms