This year I'm soaking in history as we move into the New Year by connecting with the ancestors of my craft in Italy.
As a nomad, not having an actual home to return to, means that I am always finding myself living somewhere different. My sojourn to Italy has connected me with the ancestors of painting and sculpture, renewing my spirit and seeding new inspiration for another year of new countries, new cultures and new illustrations.
Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome, perhaps Rome most of all are like living museums. Venice has been frozen in time, Rome is the ancient heart of Italy and Florence is the perpetual reminder and glorifier of the Renaissance.
The artists, the engineers, all of the creative geniuses that make the foundation of Italy, these are my people. These are the people who inspire and encourage my passion.
Raphael shouts my name as I enter the Pantheon.
Michelangelo waves to me from the top of the Sistine Chapel.
Caravaggio gives me a high five as I walk up to the Church of St. Louis.
Above all, Caravaggio has inspired my love for painting. His melancholic and powerful use of lighting (chiaroscuro) tingles the hairs on the back of my neck. Michelangelo was his first name, and another Michelangelo before him painted the Sistine Chapel. Several of the figures on the Sistine Chapel are directly influenced by a mysterious sculpture known as the Belvedere Torso.
This Torso, which is painted in my Express Man illustration, has held the eyes of many thousands. It has held the eyes of Caravaggio and the eyes of Michelangelo and it holds the weight of many centuries.
As we move into 2017 I will be thinking about this Belvedere Torso.
I will think about the Belvedere Torso's power to inspire Michelangelo.
I will think about the power Michelangelo had to inspire Caravaggio.
I will think about the power Caravaggio has had over me.
And I will think about the beauty I can leave for the centuries to come.
Which leads me now to think about the work I am doing as 2016 is closing out.
With inspiration from the masters I present this Express Man illustration series.
Bearded, Greco-Roman Bust
Perseus Slaying Medusa
Shop the Express Man Look
I'm testing out an app that let's you click on the product in the image to purchase. You may have to refresh the page for it to work... let's give it a try.