This was my submission to the Monsters and Dames book at ECCC 2010 this year. As expected, the vast majority of artists did the similar movie sci fi cliches and famous stereotypes in an effort to accurately portray the genre as demanded by the book. The art in the book looks nice and hats off to them for their efforts which benefited charity. Taking the safe route content wise is always a good thing.
So what did I do? The exact opposite.
Cheerlead the status quo and go along with anything and everything because everything's ok right? Wrong. I don't expect everyone to tow my line of thinking, and in this case this is a actual piece of art by Omar Dogan with no holds barred. Isn't that art after all? Real art doesn't have public relations and editors, and it's nice to escape once in a while.
The thing is that you are sold an idea, a story, a fantasy. Every business minded individual who works in the entertainment industry does this for a good or, more often, suspect motive. Its all marketing when it gets large scale. The vast majority of things you read and watch on TV portray a hedonistic free for all called life in which money and sex are the primarily worshiped gods. Well, that's what's sold to you at least. Is that all life is good for? Do you feel this is the right answer? Are you ever satisfied or secure from the inevitable destroyer of delights: death? Are there other answers?
Yes there are other answers if you look at vistas other than what is provided for you by large-scale media.
And so with that I present to you what a real artist is or should be and that is a barometer of society of sorts. But not just a passive measuring instrument will do, there should be some sort of angle on it, and this is were the art is in my opinion. Artists can say things that many people cannot.
Allow me to explain my piece:
Here we have a girl, nothing seemingly explosive about her beauty wise or style wise. She is like a blank sheet of paper waiting to be styled and coiffed. Even if you look close she has underarm stubble as well. her hair is not long and salubrious, nor does she seem to have really any tone in her muscles etc etc. Another thing I used to enforce this is the fact she has no colour as well, just a 2D drawing.
In the background however we have a lot of what I felt are typical things that are adopted by willful desire to imitate for whatever reason and/or forced upon them as to what is the correct mold of a woman. Everything from liposuction to breast augmentation is there and the question has to be asked " Why do I have to look like that or change myself? " or " Who wants me to look like that and why should I change? " I guarantee you this type of marketed image insecurity in women brings billions of dollars to someone, and it must work because it continues to be propagated.
Turning women into sex objects and making money off of their insecurity? Now that's barbaric, sinister, and morally bankrupt.
In my mind, the cosmetic industry, weight loss industry, and fashion industry stand to lose the most money if women dress modestly and not make an effort to follow all the stereotypes given to them wholesale by Hollywood and the like. I mean it should be said that all of those stars in Ads have photoshop artists tweaking their looks and slimming them down to the point that it is impossible to look like them at all. A hopeless and unattainable goal to be like them, what a pathetic pursuit for such a 'modern society' and all its claims to superiority.
If women buy this idea, so much effort gets exhausted on exterior looks, yet the insides become vacuums, unsatisfied, meaningless, without direction or purpose ultimately, just pretty to look at. Honestly, if everyone dressed the same and covered up, our personalities would really be the only thing that would shine. Nowadays we have girls competing with hookers who are scarcely teenagers. I have a daughter, and I can only imagine what things will be like when she is older.
But then i got thinking, " Omar, the fact is that you do the same thing. You sell a vision of beauty when you draw women. It might be that there are girls out there who think you are imposing your own version of beauty that is no different than what you are rallying against here." Well, i think it could be like that, or I feel like that's a possibility.
So to all my female fans, this is for you. What I draw is fantasy, and abstraction of life. Much of my work is known for pretty girls and the like, but they are just that. I do not suggest that you should be like them or change if you don't want to. In my story i am writing , i deal with these issues, and my hope is to make a difference. I have to work, and this is my job. As you get older your vision changes and things that were fun at one time take on a different meaning when they are exposed for what they are. Pretty sells.
That is the 'monster' we all buy, and it's not worth it if it's only skin deep. The physical body turns back to dust eventually, so concentrate on beautifying the soul before death claims you.
Oh, the best part of that con was when a dude came by to get his book signed and said about my piece :"Wow, one that actually had meaning!" I hope you guys feel the same.
I can't answer all your comments, but I will read them. I'm not perfect, but I am entitled to my opinion. For all my past work that offended you, I am sorry and may Allah forgive my mistakes.
Media: Red Colerase, ball pen, Photopaint just for the red gradient.