Friday, October 24, 2014

A Portrait of Icarus

I knew Sam while I was an art school student in San Francisco. At that time, he was trained to be a pilot in East Bay. Therefore, I had a chance to take his training airplane up to the sky, and fulfill my dream of being a pilot for several minutes. Unlike me, an introvert, he is an outgoing man of great enterprise. Though we have different personality, we went there for the same reason. Chasing our dreams.


This July, Sam told me that he wanted a portrait for himself as his 30-year-old birthday gift. Normally, I will turn down this kind of project because this is not what I am focusing on now. But first, he is my friend. And second, I missed the day I learned how to paint acrylic painting with our great teacher Kazu Sano. I took this project and met him in early August. We had lunch together in a very good Japanese restaurant in Taipei. While we were eating some delicious Sushi, we chatted with each other and discussed about what kind of portrait he wanted. He showed me Icarus painting from the famous painter Henri Matisse and joked about that it will be ok if I paint him like that.

今年七月,Sam告訴我說他想要一幅肖像畫做為他30歲的生日禮物。通常我不會接這樣的案子,因為與我現在專注的方向不同。但因為一、Sam是我的朋友。二、我很想念我當年在已經過逝的老師Kazu Sano課堂上畫壓克力顏料的時光。我接受了這個工作並與他在八月初見了面,想知道他對於這肖像畫的想法。我們在台北一家很小但很棒的日本餐廳吃午餐,一邊吃著壽司一邊閒聊。他給我看這張Matisse畫的Icarus,並開玩笑的說,就算我畫成這樣,他也可以接受!

After taking the photo, I started to think about what kind of the portrait I want to do. As an illustrator, I wanted to make it in narrative way(maybe I should call it Kazu's way). And I thought about Icarus. Why shouldn't it be a portrait of Icarus? In fact, both us are Icarus. We try as hard as possible to fly high. Don't care about falling! Because if we don't try, who knows how far we can go? I am glad that at least one of us reach the sky now.


So, it turned out this painting. I am happy that Sam like it, and expecting to see this painting soon when it is hung in Sam's new place. Now, let's end these words with a poem written by Anne Sexton:

所以很高興我在他生日的時候完成了這張畫,也很高興Sam並沒有嫌棄它!我很期待它掛在Sam新家的的樣子!現在用Anne Sexton寫的這首詩,來結束我的這段碎碎念:


Consider Icarus, pasting those sticky wings on,
testing this strange little tug at his shoulder blade,
and think of that first flawless moment over the lawn
of the labyrinth. Think of the difference it made!
There below are the trees, as awkward as camels;
and here are the shocked starlings pumping past
and think of innocent Icarus who is doing quite well:
larger than a sail, over the fog and the blast
of the plushy ocean, he goes. Admire his wings!
Feel the fire at his neck and see how casually
he glances up and is caught, wondrously tunneling
into that hot eye. Who cares that he fell back to the sea?
See him acclaiming the sun and come plunging down
while his sensible daddy goes straight into town.