February 14, 2014 by smithartonline
Coyote Creates Mankind is another piece influenced by First Nation creation stories. Possibly the fact that Coyote is a trickster character explains the eccentricities of the human race…I have always contended that the creation of humans is the only mistake the Great Creator made…and a brief perusal of current events always provides a multitude of supportive material. As in my previous posting, I recommend the Youtube video Coyote Dream by Alex Blackwood.
Coyote is presented to the right and Raven is within the orange Sun disc. There are three human forms to the left of the picture.
When I work on these graffiti pieces, I gather up stencils of various symbols I feel relate to a theme and then use them as design elements. Some of the symbols are commonly used while others are self-generated. The use of symbol encourages a viewer to make personal connections and add a new view to the work; a deeply personal response for each person.
Symbols used here are cross/star shapes, astronomical symbols and Saint Brigid crosses, or they might be called Sun whorls. Below the Raven is a T-O symbol which is a lift from the medieval maps showing the perfect world. I have reduced the original to the basic symbol of a circle enclosing the T sign.
Among my self-generated symbols are the arrows. I use them as symbols of fate and/or of choice. When seen individually they present the idea of movement in a specific preordained direction. When seen opposing each other, it is choice or free-will. Both concepts seem to coexist in my work – I guess I haven’t figured it out yet.
Another great exhibition has opened at the USC Pacific Asia Museum: The Other Side – Chinese and Mexican Immigration to America. This is a show featuring contemporary art which is housed in the PAM’s Grace Nicholson building (which used to be the Pasadena Museum of Modern Art). These days, it seems some of the best museum exhibits of contemporary art in Pasadena are found here at Pacific Asia.
The genesis of the work comes from the shared experiences of two immigrant groups, with a focus on the exclusionary programs of American immigration in the past. The art is beauty stemming from a sad history…well worth a visit if you are able to make your way to Pasadena. It runs until 20 July 2014.