The style is an amalgamation of the many art styles that I have been deeply influenced by throughout the years- From Italian renaissance portraiture, Catholic Medieval, Flemish Primitives, Thanjavur, Thangka, and the first art styles ever introduced to me- 16bit pixel work and Anime inspired American cartoons from the 1980's.
The backdrop is the view of Manhattan from my childhood neighborhood of LIC Queens.
The 80's iconography is obvious and cliche, but it's continued influence on my aesthetic is undeniable.
There were a few ideas I had for who would be the deity of this piece. I shared my sketch ideas with my friend from childhood, Gene, who was an incredible graffiti artist and musician. He liked my Voltron inspired sketches the most, and I always valued his opinion, so I went with his choice. Tragically, Gene went on to take his life only a week later.
I adorned the Voltron deity in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" jacket- Gene's first musical influence.
Shortly after, my beloved B Paul's health took a nose dive. His fight with cancer was coming to an end- he was in rapid decline.
I worked on most of this piece from my iPad while sitting next to him in the little Brooklyn apartment that we used to share together throughout his hospice.
B paul had an affinity for gold and bling in general. The gold accents of this piece are a homage to him and his distinct style.
B Paul's numerological number is "33". It is the number of the Master Teacher, a Master Number. 33's are the personification of pure love and compassion- and the love that B had given to me, and all those around him was genuinely nurturing, unconditional and pure.Without B Paul's care and guidance, I would have never become a tattoo artist, nor would I have had the opportunities and career I have today.
Both Gene and B Paul are integral features to my story, who I am as a person and artist, and a large part of my NYC experience. This isn't the first piece that they have influenced, and will not be the last.
Artwork created on the IPad with Procreate and Pixel Studio