This piece encapsulates the musician Neil Young as a legend of many genres- folk, country, grunge. He is said to be a realist- using his lyrics as a metaphor for social commentary. I captured this within the color palette- the raw colors of the barn texture and the skull represent his tendency towards undisguised truth. The circle in the corner represents one of his most celebrated songs- Harvest Moon. This song inspired me to create a color palette that reflects his music, amber, raw- comfortable yet real. He is also wearing his trademark hat and playing his acoustic guitar.
Frida Kahlo was an artist and a woman full of complex symbolism. Her face is a wilting flower, which represents the pain she went through in her life- physically and emotionally. The tropical foliage represents her home- Coyoacan, Mexico. The gold skull represents the bus accident that drastically injured Frida. The story goes that at the time of the bus crash- there was a painter onboard with a bucket of flakes of gold leaf paint. When the bus crashed and Frida laid there close to death- the gold leaf was falling in the air like confetti. The juxtaposition of life and death, beauty and macabre- was central to Frida's work and is shown through the skull. Her necklace is compromised of tiny papel picado- paying homage to her proud Mexican roots.
Tom Petty was a legendary musician, songwriter, and bohemian spirit. The prairie texture with flowers is a nod to his song Wildflowers. It also represents the themes of love and loss in his lyrics, and his connection to American folk music. His guitar has a spotlight on it, which depicts the longevity of his career and his legacy.
The Beatles were a catalyst for change, Paul McCarteney being their frontrunner. His face is texture with a black and white, bold and graphic pattern reminiscent of the 1970’s. There is a smoke cloud representing the catalytic change The Beatles were for music and youth culture. McCarteney’s Hofner violin bass is also recreated in collage.
John Lennon embodies peace and fortitude. The meadow texture with strawberries is a nod to his song Strawberry Fields. He is pictured with his Epiphone Starburst guitar and trademark sunglasses.
Ringo Starr’s name showcases his love for country music, which is also depicted through the image of a cowboy hat. Octopus’s Garden- his most famous song, is depicted through the 8 tentacles coming off his shoulders. The bouquet on his drum kit illustrates the anecdote in which George Harrison placed flowers on Ringo’s drums during his visit to Sardinia- incidentally where the inspiration for Octopus’s Garden came from.
George Harrison was always known as the introspective, quiet Beatle. He is depicted with a sitar, which represents his inspiration from Indian music, religion, and culture- sequentially influencing the Beatle’s work. There are multiple hands coming from the sitar which represent the Hindu goddess Durga- the protector of peace and prosperity.