This is what I end up scrounging for in my head: “It is neither representational, abstract or non-objective…” In an effort to not sound like I don’t know what I’m doing, I push my academic research further. I often spend time reviewing millions of books on color theory, Japanese art history, manga, other artists’ works, and art-related online content. In between full time day job and school, I paint to hone my techniques. Ultimately, I end up with something absolute that is brought to life from my very own mind. It is already understood that I am still an art student trying to make a name for him and discover who I really am as an artist. It isn’t until recently I have discovered a much clearer way to describe my work: eccentric.
In Japanese art history beyond the 17th century to today, the art become more commonly “eccentric.” Many of these online sources derive information from literary works of a great art historian by the name of Nobuo Tsuji. He wrote two books: “The Lineage of Eccentricity” and “The Categories of Eccentricity.” This concept of “eccentricity” inspired many artists such as Takashi Murakami (one of my favorite artists). These books described certain artists like Ito Jakuchu, Katsushika Hokusai, and Kano Sensetsu (all of which are very important to Japanese art history). Being classified as “eccentric” basically means to utilize techniques that are not orthodox or “Westernized” (from the Japanese perspective).
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about “eccentricity”
I’ve never been so confident about my figure drawing skills, yet I am confident with other aspects like color theory and aesthetics/design. Takashi Murakami founded his “Superflat” art movement based off of this information. I am not trying to follow that movement, but instead trying to develop my own by the time I get my Masters in Fine Arts. Though the similarities are present, I plan to survey more connections between Western and Eastern attitudes. So for the next person that asks me what type of art I create, I tell them “eccentric.” In the future I will develop more on this idea and post them along the way.
Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou is the name for a group of eight Chinese painters active in the eighteenth-century, who were known in the Qing Dynasty for rejecting the orthodox ideas about painting in favor of a style deemed expressive and individualist.
A sculpture in The "Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou" Memorial Hall in Yangzhou depicting the eight eccentrics. Second photo is an ink and color on paper rendition of a cat and a bamboo plant by Jin Nong.
For the past several years I have toyed with utopian/dystopian settings, fictitious characters that is beyond understanding, numerous bold colors, and the manga-inspired aesthetic in my works of art. I never thought of how to describe my creations until people started asking me. What do I say and what do you think (www.julianpena.com)?
Works by KAWANABE KYOSAI.
Works by Ito Jakuchu.