Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oval Budha Recreated

I have been wanting to get back to more controlled and intentional photography in the past couple days. I love the snow-scapes, but it sometimes feels I am relying too much on finding the right moment by chance. With that said though, I was feeling rather uninspired and didn't really have any specific ideas for projects today.

I have however recently been reading about the contemporary art super star Takashi Murakami. After getting a book form the library today on his work and paging through it, I had the idea that it could be fun to recreate his magnum opus "Oval Budha," a twenty foot or so high "self portrait" sculpture coated in platinum leaf. Below are a few of the many images of my recreation.

Murakami's sculpture features his self-based character DOB sitting on a pedestal which is smashing an elephant. The smooshed elephant always reminds me of a turtle and the East Indian and Native American creation myths in which the world rests upon the turtle's back. For this reason I placed a small blue turtle in front of the tiger's nose. The long and limp limbs reminded me of DOB's frogish nature.

I think this image best capture the quirky attitude of my character. Flowers, which make up the pupils of two of this creature's eyes, are a common motif in Murakami's work.

The ear buds were an addition entirely of my own but since Murakami deals with pop culture, its icons, and symbols so much, I though the ear buds were very fitting.

Murakami is a master of color so when I was first working on this sculpture I thought it would be neat to purposely try to keep it as white as possible. When I tried this, though, I found the sculpture to be dull so I think this lighting is true to Murakami and makes the sculpture more visually dynamic.

 I loved the strong shadows and the sense that this character really has a kingly presence that the shadows convey. "Oval Budha" is not a humble sculpture and the shadows in mine give the character a feeling of importance similar to the original sculpture but in a much more playful way.

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