Kenji’s Art Sundays

December 3, 2006

Every Sunday, Beats Entropy will showcase a painting of mine and I will describe the ideas, processes and technique I used to realize it.

Please feel free to comment; anything is welcome including criticisms.

Today’s Piece:

Title: Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing
Medium: Acrylic and Latex on Fabric
Size: Approx. 60″ x 60″

One day, while flipping through magazines in search of some inspiration, I came across a photo of Rob Pilatus, aka half of Milli Vanilli. For those not in the know, he committed suicide a few years after the whole lip-synching scandal broke out, his life in ruins and dissipating rapidly.

The photo was of him before the scandal, on stage at the Grammy awards collecting his prize. It was eery seeing his facial expression. Here was a man at the height of his career, in everyone’s spotlight, rich and adored. But he was also completely out of control. His eyes were asking hauntingly: What am I doing here? What am I doing here?

I had to paint it. I started with his face in a messy, freeform style that betrayed his flaws and vulnerabilities, while I framed it in solid areas of bright colour as though he was wrapped in a commercial product. I added a chorus of microphones to either side, like an audience listening intently. From above, drips of water were coming down, a reference to their song “Blame it on the Rain”. Finally, I added some undulating lines to his eyes and face, mirroring the forms of the microphones, representing his soul being sucked away.

The painting was very straightforward: I mostly used latex paint with a 2-inch wide brush, and did the detailing (water, microphones, eyes) with acrylic paint and paint pens. The piece is 5 feet by 5 feet.

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Copyright 2006 Kenji Toyooka


6 Responses to “Kenji’s Art Sundays”

  1. moms2sense Says:

    This is a wonderful piece of art. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. I like it. Very cool. Thank you.

  3. Monkey Says:

    neat … i’ve seen the piece many times, yet never knew the story behind it.

    i still think he’s got spermotazoids in his eyes.

  4. Rodney Says:

    Very cool painting. Excellent interpretation.

  5. What happened to your art posts? PD is the sex, as always, but it seems like entire eras since you’ve posted other artwork.

  6. engtech Says:

    we broke his legs and put him in a box to do PDs.

    sorry :(

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