Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Repetition of Symbols

There are many artists that utilize their sketchbooks to record their main focus or study. What the viewer may find when looking through the book is a repetition of symbols and lines. One artist that comes to mind is Joaquin Torres-Garcia. His entire art career was centered on the development of symbols to be understood by viewers of all cultures. I too find myself repeating this same pattern in my work. The symbols become an obsession as I continually work and rework them. In this case I am revisiting the image of the Sacred Heart. Found in Roman-Catholic imagery, the Sacred Heart is also apparent in the work of many Chicano Artists. I find it to be a powerful image having multiple meanings. It is also a comforting image for me symbolizing an everlasting love, compassion, and the sacrifice made for all mankind.
The current idea is to place the Sacred Heart in a nicho. A nicho, or niche is like a small altar that contains images and/or objects of value and not necessarily idols. For contemporary culture, the nicho can be like a shadow box. I am thinking of using cardboard or wood for the walls, and maybe sculpt the heart from clay. Although it's current state is black and white, I foresee a lot of color to bring life to the piece. The graphic lines bursting from behind the heart shine like the sun and will lead the viewer's gaze to the central focal point.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Images are everywhere

Did you ever lay on your back and stare up at the clouds as a child? Watching as they transformed into shapes and images. I find myself constantly looking up for guidance. And sometimes the answers to our questions are right before our eyes. Images are everywhere. The clouds, the shadows, the texture on the wall. In this case, the image was found as result of the strobe lights on a DJ booth. A white hat sat on a table about five feet away from me. As the lights danced upon it, I noticed the indication of text on the entire surface of the hat. In the meanwhile, a face began to emerge from the folds of the material. And it was suddenly transformed from a hat to a skull. The text resembled a paisley pattern, and it all reminded me of the calaveras we decorate for El Dia De Los Muertos. The whole thing was mesmerizing. I wanted to record this somehow, but was afraid it would lose its mystery if I went to investigate. So I sat and watched. Until finally, the police came to break up the party. Reality set in as the overhead lights powered on. And the skull returned to being a hat again. All was not lost.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Representing a Community

Last year, I produced the album artwork for an emerging Latin American musician. Chano Santamaria, of the group Yezve, approached me with an idea. My response was to create a representation of the music in visual form. After listening to the demo and numerous sketches, I came to a concluding image. http://www.akaixi144.com/Home/portfolio

This week, Chano contacted me about poosible publication of the album in a local newspaper. I was thrilled to hear the good news. I am grateful that my image has helped in representing his music and is catching the public eye worldwide.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Portrait of a Master

Today I sketched a portrait of one of my favorite sculptors. Alberto Giacometti, known for his elongated cast figures. I find his work to be highly influential and enjoy seeing the rawness of his materials emerge from the surface. I am considering sculpting something in his honor. Perhaps it will be a reflection of his work. Whatever I choose, it must reflect the quality and the passion of Giacometti's creative mind.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I find my sketchbook to be a useful tool for future ideas. My thoughts come from dreams, readings, and the influence of other visual arts. Yet I still experience times when I just stare at the blank page with pencil in hand. These are times that I just allow the lines to develop themselves. This sketch began with a loose form of a head. The line quality creates movement throughout the image, leading the viewer through a mazelike state interpreting my own personal confusion. I enjoy creating these kinds of sketches because you never know what the result may be.