11 inches by 21 inches
Mixed media acrylic/spray paint
I just finished this painting recently. This painting was inspired by my own social obliviousness and insecurities. Lately I have just been avoiding a lot of contact with the outside world. Diving deeper and deeper into myself, I finally realized I do need others around me. The community of friends, family, and occasional strangers and acquaintances, is necessary in order for me to be able to create and grow as a person. How funny how the more we advance as humans, the more we seem to alienate ourselves.
The letters at the bottom spell out oppression of self and open eyes. For some reason I couldn't see what I was doing to myself. The pink clouds represent hope for the future. The fish symbolizes growth and movement. You can also see a sun by the fish's head, which is just another sign of hope. Inside you can see a small robot that represents myself caught inside away from the outside world. On top of the telephone pole, which stands for communication, sits an owl that stands for wisdom and change. Stripes are coming out of his head to show that he is thinking and watching the world. The fish is headed towards the owl, symbolizing my change from that frame of mind. The small symbol on the top right is an African symbol called Bese Saka that means abundance, togetherness and unity. The number three is for the three stages of life: birth, life, and death.
My art used to have the same kind of earthy colors like green and brown. Lately I have started to like pinks and bright colors. They bring a lot more of what I'm feeling into the work. I love using Aztec and African symbols from my heritage to not only convey a Message but to also embrace my history.
By Santos Shelton
A little about Santos:
He's 26 yrs old. Lives in San Jose and likes to dance late at night in front of the mirror.