I always like it when I can blog about a mural as work in progress then return again when it’s completed. I am assuming it’s completed because the art store, who the artist told me facilitate the project, had put up a sign New Mural by Lunar New Year, although I wish they would have just said New Lunar New Year.
Lunar New Year – check out his website – is a young artist. After the first blog, I talked to him a couple of times at the mural site. The two men are friends of his. One time he was using a picture of the man to finish an eye. I asked him about other details, but he’s reticent – in a nice, arrogant-free way – about explaining too much.
The bird cage, the circle of life sign on the front of the baseball cap in the cage, which hovers above what looks like the leg and talons of a bird, impaled by an arrow, the meaning of this surrealistic feature evades specific interpretation of these images as symbols. I love the expression of the two faces, what ever is in their gaze inspires what seems like serenity, a kind of peaceful respect, perhaps even an acceptance of their own awe. The hand signs may be indecipherable to me, but for the two men they obviously have significance and purpose. This reflects back on the bird cage symbology, while still remaining inexplicable, is evocative as a visualization of what ever has captured their gaze. Overall, I get a palpable sense of stoicism.
Lunar New Year’s website is quite entertaining. My first impression is surrealism as a movement in the arts. I loved reading Andre Breton, love Salvador Dali. I see images juxtaposed, I immediately lean towards allegory and analogy. These old models may be lacking when applied to the interpreting some current uses of images. Having seen the artist work from a photograph of each man, it’s remarkable how accurate this immense reproduction is, but the identity of the men just as the bird cage and what it contains, is ultra esoteric, inside jokes for small cadre. The website calls it “Meta,” which also indicates that there is a secret code. Look at the “signature” on the side of the building, and on the asphalt just in front of the art. Obscure symbols. Even the artist’s alias – Lunar New Year – is derived from an acronym of his real name.
These clues of code maybe unlock something personal in the artist, but I have a feeling following this line of deduction would be tedious. Would finding out more about the men and their friendship inform how well the gold drops of liquid – perspiration? Tears? Holy water? – floating around the fingers are drawn or what those drops mean. The obscurity invites you more into the art, emphasizing that its meaning is not about actual information, but the feelings evoked. The aqua blue background flickers like an apparition as it floats around them, the edges fading into the stone exterior of the building.
I love the size, this is an immense work. I love the vertical design, makes you realize how horizontal the other murals are. The details are amazing, this painting looks like a sketch but minutia like the drops, the zipper teeth, and the wrinkles along the knuckles, the glint in the eye are rendered realistically yet ties into the emotionality of the piece.
The men are literally giants. They aren’t watching over us, they’re looking in another direction. We would like to see what they see, maybe we already do.
check out website: http://www.lnylnylny.com/