Sunday, April 13, 2008

Evidently I'm A Biter

Myspace Hate Mail
And not the good kind of biter! For those of you that are fans of Miami Ink or La Ink or have ever been to the shooting gallery in San Fran will know the work of Shawn Barber. If you don't, google his name and you will be witness to amazing work, both tattoo related and non tattoo related. And those who know me and my latest direction will know I too am exploring the world of tattoo through painting. As I reported here (read below) my most recent self portrait incorporates tattoos of my own design that reflect how angry and uncertain I have been about my life recently. Other tattoo related paintings are in the works as part of a learning process. But Mr. Barber doesn't see it that way...
In a recent email he referred to me as a "biter" and a "lazy, lazy monkey" and asked "what the fuck is wrong with you?"
And just in case Senor Barber ever denies he wrote me, here is a screen capture of the email:

To which my reply was:

Lazy Monkey? Biter? What the fuck is wrong with me? Nice to meet you too.

Number one: Your work is amazing and I give you huge props for your skill level and dedication to the struggle that is painting. 

Number two: I have been a tattoo/Caravaggio/Velasquez/Lucian Freud enthusiast, work-a-holic painter long before I knew who you were. And my recent development was brewing long BEFORE I knew who you were. So we do work that has a similar theme? So fucking what? You mean to tell me that in the entire history of painting in western civilization, no two or three or four artists ever worked with the same subject matter? No one ever painted portraits before you? No one ever incorporated movement, gesture, abstraction, thick paint, primary color palette, realism, and high contrast into their work before you? So no two people EVER in the entire history of humanity ever had the same inspiration at the exact same time? 


Although some of our work may look the same, I assure you I am not biting your style. My work does not incorporate movement like yours does and (not including ones by Horiyoshi III I did as practice) is done in real time from straight observation. On top of that, a few of the tattoo works don't really exist in real time. The tattoos reflect issues that a friend or myself (see main profile pic) might be dealing with at the present time. 

So when I finish the paintings I am currently working on where I explore my personal issues and the fact that my grandmother is slowly slipping away due to Alzheimer's, and how I present those issues in tattoo form, I will be sure to entitle it "Made By A Biting Lazy Monkey Who Owes Everything To The Great Shawn Barber."
And here is a screen shot of my response: