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    B R O K E N C A G E E X H I B I T

    F L O R A L   F L I R T A T I O N

    Thank you for coming to my second solo art show! It's honestly a dream come true, and I appreciate you taking the time to celebrate with me and experience my work the way I've always intended. Below you can find an explanation of each piece on display:
    M A C 
    This piece was inspired by a documentary I watched about Mac's life. I had stopped listening to him before his unfortunate death, and I hadn't realized how mature his sound had gotten. There was so much nuance, soul, and tranquility in his later works that caught me by surprise. And after listening to his latest discography, Mac has risen to the tops of my favorite artists list. The sensitivity in the music I heard inspired these light pastel colours. His loss is a real shame and I'm glad the man who sold him laced drugs was convected... R.I.P Mac Miller ❤
    B L X N D E D 
    This painting was my very first floral mask. I had been getting my work removed off Etsy by music labels, and that didn't seem right to me because I'm painting my interpretations of these artists. But I wasn't discouraged. I decided to try and go back to the masking elements I had been exploring prior to Pop Art to protect myself from any sort of trouble. Consequently, this piece is the brain child of this exhibit's name as I flirt with the gray zone of copyright using flowers as a delicate shield.
    T . M . C
     Rest in Power to Nipsey. The man was truly prolific, being ahead of the game in many regards. I didn't have the pleasure of growing up to his music but I listened to a lot for inspiration for this piece.

    I used a Nipsey Blue daisy to represent his Eritrean lineage as his father immigrated from there. And then I used a glitch effect to distort the main flower to look wavy and crunchy, inspired by the west coast synth sound that rings through a lot of Hussle's discography. This also helped compositionally because the abstract shapes fit his side profile well, and the design wrapping around his face felt symbolic of continuity. And The Marathon Continues.

    This painting is one of my most demanding clocking in at over 23h because I chose to paint all of the glitch effect by hand. I enjoy doing this because it humanizes the aesthetic with imperfections and symbolically I think it speaks to what I want my art to do to these icons.
    D X R K M X N X
    Rest in power to an absolute legend... Earl Simmons was so influential to hip hop and his loss is hitting hard.
    I used orchids for the piece because of the iconic scene in Fresh Off the Boat where DMX explains love with his orchid garden as an analogy. It was sweet, accurate, and memorable. However I found these gorgeous black orchids that fit his rough and grungy aesthetic, but the pink center still holds a lot of sensitivity and care.
    D X N D A
    A floral mask Ye piece only made sense since he's been rocking the balaclavas with all the floral and jewellery embellishments for this album’s aesthetic. I used Chrysanthemums to connect back to Chicago since it is the city's flower. And I painted an intense contrast between the value of the flowers and the portrait to symbolize the spirituality of the album 🕊️
    A L I
    I've wanted to paint water for a while prior to this piece because I personally adore those underwater distorted paintings some phenomenal artists do! I know it's not the same but I treated the shape design exercise similarly, and had fun with the light refraction on his skin ☀️🌊

    I also tried a few flowers in the piece but they all looked so odd underwater, so I had the idea to use beta fish because they're so floral and lovely on the eyes! 🎏 Float like a butterfly sting like a... fish?
    S M X X T H O P E R X T O R
    Sade’s voice is literally like an angel’s. 👼 I didn’t listen to her growing up but I immersed myself into her music since so many people were requesting it and I was blown away by the jazzy, soulful, and hopelessly romantic vibes I got and I also got seriously strong underwater vibes especially for No Ordinary Love. Lo and behold, the whole music video takes place there, and I used that sound as inspiration. The use of 2 fish is to allude to the romance in all her songs 🐟🐟
    T H E B U L L T H A T F L E W
    I painted this in a hot flash after finishing The Last Dance. Michael Jordan's work ethic was a huge source of motivation during my daily art challenge and I wanted to celebrate him with a big bouquet of roses!
    T . K . o . P
    The King of Pop himself. Michael is one of my most requested paintings, and I can proudly say that I finally felt ready to make this piece live up to my expectations.

    Sunflowers were his favorite flower so I used some vintage sunflower illustrations as a reference to allude to his reign on music in the 80s.

    The most challenging part about this painting were the metal details on his coat because I wanted to treat each one like its own abstract painting. It was really demanding, but think it was well worth the 16 total painting hours!

    My favorite part about this is the abstraction of the shadow from his hair on his face. It ended up feeling like a stained glass mosaic, and this sort of imagery felt right in portraying Michael's regality.

    Finally, the background is a composite of an ethereal cloudy sky and the lights after this specific performance. I thought it was visually interesting, and also celebrated his memory on and off stage.
    M X N T E R O
    I loved how this reference image was able to show Lil Nas as a powerful yet vulnerable being and I wanted to emphasize that in this piece by adorning him with gold flowers inspired by his MET Gala look.

    I also had a feeling that butterflies would fit this concept, but I wanted to keep the embellished look so I tried to find pretty metal butterflies with no luck. Serendipitously, the moment I had given up on finding a good reference, Lil Nas shared his interview with Monique Heart where he unveiled his new bedazzled butterfly chain! And he spoke about how important it was as a metaphor for his time during lockdown, which was gratifying for my intuition!

    I feel really proud of how I was able to materialize my concept here. It ended up taking almost 15 hours to render everything but I’m so happy with how it turned out and hope you like it 🥰
    T H X W O O
    Rest in Power Bashar “Pop Smoke” Jackson 🕊 I can’t believe he was shot at only 20 years old… He was an amazing man and was full of so much potential.

    I used The Flowers of the Holy Spirit to speak to his Panamanian heritage and because they alluded to smoke compositionally.

    I wanted to push my shape design in the hands since they were so prominent and also tried to capture as much detail as I could in the jewellery. It was stressful, but I think they complete the piece 👑
    M X K A V X K L I
    2pac was renamed Tupac Amaru Shakur at the age of 1 (originally Lesane Parish Crooks) after the Incan revolutionary Tupac Amaru II. His mother chose a powerful indigenous name to remind him that he was part of a global culture and not just from a neighbourhood. It must have became a self fulfilling prophecy because Makaveli was definitely revolutionary and continues to have influence on contemporary culture even after 20 years of his murder.

    I was inspired by the Incan etymology of his name and used Peru’s national flower (the Inca were originally located here), the flor del Inca to adorn the legend.
    W O M X N L I K E M E
    I was inspired by Adele's favorite number - 5, her favorite colour - green, and her amazing back tattoo of the flying doves. I loved this image of her, and then juxtaposed pretty white flowers with luscious green leaves. And then I placed 5 dove wings around the composition to give an angelic look. Balancing the colours on this piece was a big challenge for me, but I'm very happy with the final product. Colour temperature was on my mind as I worked through this piece!
    M Y D C M B R
    Rest in Power Chester Bennington. Linkin Park was the first time I ever connected with music emotionally, and I associate their music with my first real group of friends from when I was in grade 6. I had the opportunity to see them in concert back in 2013, but I had a work conflict that made me sell my tickets. I regret not going to the concert to this day...
    For the piece, I used the suagaro cactus flowers to represent his Phoenix upbringing. And then added a glitch effect to them to capture the band's use of synths. Their sound aesthetic is a tension between gentle and aggressive, so I named the painting M Y D C M B R - one of their gentlest songs and my personal favorites to juxtapose against him screaming.

    Furthermore, I tinted the flowers to gold and gray to allude to Meteora's colours. And finally, I arranged the flowers to resemble a wing, a nod to the dragonfly wings on the Hybrid Theory cover.
    L S E Y R S L F 2 D N C E
    It honestly pained me to hear about Daft Punk’s split. The weight of their legacy and influence felt monumental that day and I mourned by listening to their discography. My favourite song of theirs is Lose Yourself to Dance, this piece’s namesake, and is actually one of my top 5 fave songs of all time 🥀

    For this composition I didn’t focus too much on sentiment and treated it mostly as an aesthetic exercise because placing flowers over masks was challenging! I picked roses because of how versatile they are aesthetically, and that could very well apply to the sound of Daft Punk 🎶
    L X X R X N H X L L⠀
    Lauryn Hill is a queen and one of my best friends adores her so I painted this for his birthday. The piece is inspired by her mysterious and charming vocals. This was my second floral mask painting and also during my bright and saturated backdrop phase.
    H O U S E O F B X L L O O N S
    My floral tribute to the Weeknd inspired by his first mixtape 🎈 This one put a lot of creative pressure on me because I wanted to do something new and specific to him since he's my favorite artist, but my first few ideas weren't exciting. Thankfully so many of you helped with your feedback and suggestions! The feedback process resulted in the balloons in front of two asymmetrical Calla lillies (Ethiopia's national flower), but it still didn't feel quite complete.⠀

    So I listened to the project again and I found inspiration from the crunchy, distorted synths and vocal effects on the otherwise smooth and velvety soundscape. The glitch effect on the balloons made sense as a translation of this sound sensation into a visual experience. It helped compositionally too by balancing the blacks more evenly on the top, and by revealing the smaller flower.⠀
    B X Y O N C E
    I used the florals that were in her original pregnancy shoot for the piece - roses which symbolize fertility, purity, and chastity; and popies which symbolize loss. Bey was quite public about a miscarriage before Blue Ivy, so these flowers were probably a tribute to this.

    I loved the grayscale aesthetic of the original image so I maintained that and tried to push the colours of the flowers to be a grand statement element in lieue of her already majestic floral crown.
    R X B Y N
    I used her namesake for this piece, two robins in Fenty blue paired with Pride of Barbados flowers. The wings in the goddess imagery were really inspiring and I’ve wanted to paint birds for a long time so it felt like a natural option 🐦

    I really wanted the complimentary colour scheme to be loud and center to encapsulate the energy of Barbadian Crop Over dress! But I also muted the background to be a flat gray so she almost blends into the background to represent her suave and elegance.
    M X R X D O N A
     I never got into soccer, but I knew of Maradona my whole because his reign of excellence was hugely recognized by even my parents! I'm beyond honoured to have gotten the chance to paint him.

    I picked sunflowers for this piece because they reminded me of the Argentinian flag and they happen to be on the motif of the Buenos Aires flag too. My client also wanted to add the Argentina jersey to this iconic image so I added it in an almost graphic way to keep to focus on his face and flowers, but blended it into the composition using my colour application.
    J X R M X I N E
    Jermaine Lamarr Cole, otherwise known as J.Cole is one of my favorite rappers. I didn't start listening to him from FNL but I fell in love with his intricate flows and rich story telling in Cole World : Sideline story 🦁

    This is my second piece inspired by Cole and I wanted this one to push me and it did! I embedded the cover art from my favorite album of his into a stunning side profile image of him. The composition was difficult to resolve so I sat on it while I worked on other pieces and was hit with inspiration on a walk. 🚶🏾‍♂️
    B X D U
    When I listened to Erykah Badu's music for inspiration, I imagined brown chocolatey tones, deep purples, and lime green. The reference image was perfect as it was already predominately chocolate toned, and the dress coincidentally had a lime green flower on it - perhaps I'm not the only one to feel these colours 👀

    I used these gorgeous Chocolate Cosmos to adorn her artfully, and tinted them to be closer to purple to allude to her regal yet feisty persona. She's such a legend and I feel really happy with how I was able to capture her beautiful aura. I hope you like it too!
    T O X I C
    With Britney's conservatorship hitting its end after 13 long years, it felt like the right time to make a Britney inspired painting 🖼

    I took inspiration from her love of Roses and painted them in a vintage illustration style to allude to her reign on music in the 2000s. I’ve named the piece Toxic as a double entendre as it’s one of my favorite songs by her, and it’s how she feels about her father and the conservatorship. Finally, the placement of the roses over her wrists touch on her being trapped by the situation, but flowers aren’t permanent so it’s a hopeful representation 🌸
    C R T F D L V R B X Y
    The Boy himself! This piece was inspired by a still from the Laugh Now Cry Later music video - back during a time when the hype for CLB was at an all time high. His jacket was my focal point for this piece, and slowly embedding colourful strokes on his face. The floral choice here was an aesthetic choice as it felt like the lilies balanced his beard below.
    D X M N .
    The focus on this piece was to celebrate the original album cover’s aesthetic and this one gorgeous magnolia I found felt perfect for that. It became the hero flower in the center and then I found a second one to compliment the first. 🌸

    The butterflies are a nod to To Pimp a Butterfly and were the final touch in resolving the composition. Kendrick’s posture, and large white shirt made it difficult to design. But this was an instance where I sketched out how the flow of the foliage could work and then filled it in. (I usually just place my references in the composition and play with them to find sometime that works without sketching) 🦋

    I’m also very proud of my colourwork on this piece. Lately it feels like I’m able to incorporate more opalescent effects while still respecting a main colour scheme hierarchy. 🎨