by jbyron

This post was supposed to be about my Alfred Hitchcock painting (The Birds). I had the post nearly typed when I realized that the painting was flawed.  See, as I prepared my images to upload, I realized that there was a part of the painting that I really loved… which is a good thing in a way… unfortunately having a part that I love shines a negative light on the parts that I only like. “Only like” is the same as settling. The good part is I think i can take the area i love and expand upon it. However, this means starting over. So hopefully we’ll get to a post in a couple of weeks where all is well that ends well. In the meantime, I’d like to share my latest. It’s called “Parlor” and is the sum of a colossal failure that resulted in a massive, on-the-fly, do-over  (and you know what, i’m currently in the middle of HUGE do-over …… maybe that’s just my technique). I’ll explain. But first:


So originally, this piece was of a woman holding a little Elvis-style singer in the palm of her hand with a very detailed illustration of Brooklyn in the background. I completed the painting, took a couple steps back and realized it wasn’t as successful as I had hoped. I tried to tweak elements of it with no success. Finally I decided to keep the elements I liked, the face and a sliver of the background, and paint over everything else. I always liked the little Elvis dude that she was originally holding so at the very end, i drew just the outline of his silhouette in the foreground.


After I created some textures and color effects that I was happy with, i took a photo of it with my phone, brought it into photoshop and began the attempt of salvation. I like words. I use them often in my work. The face is clearly Asian, so what popped into my head?… Massage Parlors and Dry Cleaners of course. I was going to call it “A Reckless Exploration of Stereotypes,” but I decided to just call it “Parlor” so people wouldn’t ask me if it said “Blob.” But whatever, having a new concept inspired the tweaks that gave the painting new life. The massage parlors and dry cleaners idea gave it a very urban vibe, at least to me, so i added a graffiti element to keep that urban decay thing going. For the record, i don’t have a problem with the discussions that stem from putting misguided interpretations of race front and center on a piece of art. It only reflects on my personal views in that I view art that has no trigger for evocation as not art at all.


Took me around the world to get where i was going but at the end of the day, i’m really happy with it. Sometimes scrapping the map leads to a better destination. I only hope that’s true because the piece i’m working on now… gonna take an act of God to get me out of the mess i’ve made.