This image was based upon Antoine Watteau's depiction of Pierrot, from Commedia dell'arte. Commedia dell'arte (comedy of art) is a form of theatre that began in Italy in the year 1560. It is characterized by improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios. The Pierrot is now Thierry Guetta, AKA Mr. Brainwash, the central character of the Banksy movie "Exit Through the Gift Shop". The British street artist is shown wearing his monkey mask on the lower right, while Shepard Fairey is sitting on the other side of Guetta. The two other characters' faces were censored, because they (presumably) disapproved of the painting. The overall composition holds graphics from Space Invaders; visual elements used by the French street artist of the same name, also present in the Banksy movie.
Yesterday I was drawing with one of my sisters. She has this art book with exercises to help you draw and paint from your sub-conscious. We had a lot of fun trying to make automatic drawings and getting inspired by music to create some pictures. In the process, we ended up making our own guidelines, and finished by analyzing and critiquing each other’s work, just for the heck of it. It’s always interesting to have someone close to you describe one of your drawings; they always end up saying meaningful things about themselves. The kind of stuff they wouldn’t say directly to you, they feel free to mention when talking about art.
Just as we were getting ready to leave, she picked up her drawings with the intention of throwing them in the recycling bin. I stopped her; I thought she should keep them. Then I realized something: I have always kept the artworks I made. I still have all those drawings from elementary school. Do you remember making that kind of art? You would draw yourself with your family, the house with the chimney, the tree, the car, the sun with sunglasses, and the clouds. Well, it’s all in one briefcase under my bed. Every now and then, I get nostalgic and open it. These are my first masterpieces! And the stack is getting bigger and bigger. In the past few years, I had to get several large portfolios to keep my life drawing studies and a filing cabinet to put all the cartoon stuff.
And this is it. I told her that everyday, everything I have ever done has more value to my eyes. All the drawings I used to qualify as crappy or amateurish, they are my most valuable possessions right now. I think it’s important to remember where you came from; it makes you appreciate even more where you are at the moment. And as I look at these drawings, I’m often surprised to see that I was already exploring some ideas which would drive some of my projects later on. Maybe this is an important step for the artist: to appreciate and recognize the value of your own work. Only then will people start noticing you.