Some Gritty Friday Night Somewhere Cold

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The water element is represented by the shadowy figure in front of the urinal. To me, water in the sense of oceans, lakes, rivers, rain, etc., is tumultuous, headstrong, and ambivalent, but water in this particular scene gave me a sense of loneliness. When I see the tiles behind the urinal, I get the feeling of coolness, like a breath of solitude between the hot, shuffling crowds of some greasy Friday night bar. I can almost hear the drips and the flush through the shitty pipes above the hum of crackling stereos and sharp conversations in the world outside the little sanctuary of a bar bathroom.

There are multiple aspects of the drawing that delineate fire to me. The highlights on Antonio’s hair move like a flame in a dark room and Camila’s mouth on the sucker as well as the bra photo reference fire like desire, ferocity, and passion. To be less metaphorical about the fire: the butts of Camila’s and Inaki’s cigarettes are glowing, and in addition, Inaki is depicted incinerating the lighter.

Hands will always represent earth to me. They hold the earthly things of the world: our material possessions, the nature around us, and the people we come into contact with. The breast in the lower right corner of the drawing emblematizes mother earth; women are life-givers and in the literal sense, breasts (which define woman) are malleable like actual earth. The image to me is a heartbeat and a pulse. Moreover, the unconscious festival-goer passed out on the trash can in the center of the piece is in a primal state, and lays close to the cold earth. He is not concerned about the world around him; he is only feeling (if he is conscious) his mind, which is the most earth-bound aspect of humans aside from their physical bodies. We came from dust, and we return to dust. I’m pretty sure that guy was close to dust.

Air is a central concept of my drawing. Friday nights are made to suck the air from the lungs of the people, giving them a sense that they are breathing deeper. Adrenaline forces them to breathe deeper, but ironically it is the very act of Friday night that will take their breath away little by little, week by week. All of my characters are living their Friday nights, picking their poison on the road to suffocation. Inhale, exhale, act. Smoke, snort, cough- it’s all air.

I wanted to create a piece to embody the elements that was extremely unnatural, manmade, and humanistic to expose how the natural elements are translated into a different language in modern day, yet still are the same forces at work. As expressed in the work of Orwell, Bradbury, and so many other writers and great minds: nature will always dominate, although we may pretend we are in control.

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