Betta Paradiso-Paintings inspired by Siamese Fighting Fish
Oil on Canvas, various sizes, (see below) May 2018
Examples of Ecstasy in Nature
I had always thought various forms in nature depicted in their beauty the emotion of ecstasy. Among them I would include the petals of the bearded iris, various murex shells, radiolaria, breaking waves and even the vortex swirls in the clouds of Jupiter*. When Thai photographer Visarute Angkatavanich started posting his amazing photo's of Betta fish I realized that in the fins of these beautiful creatures ecstasy can also be observed. When I had the chance to browse through Visarutes amazing book "Betta Paradiso" I found inspiration in several of the fish and Visarute agreed to let me make art with his photographs. The first of which I make an Homage to Visarute by depicting his wife Mallika Lokitiyakul, as part of his own ecstasy in the fish. This series will consist of either three or four such portraits and then a masterwork based on a very special fish and the inspiration it has given me.
I find the fish to be a perfect evolution of the Nuclear Mystical theme of my last paintings, where I have tried to depict the fluid nature of man and his surroundings. The amount of H2O and the space between atoms are better understood by fluid dynamics than the hard surfaces of Dali's rhinoceric horns and molecular crystals. In a microscopic realm, each move we all make takes on the fluid and miraculous properties of a prima ballerina. Think micro to imagine the interface of the ink in water chaotic beauty that is happening at massive scales within and throughout you.
Bearded Iris Murex Shell Radiolarian Breaking Wave
The fluid ecstasy of ink in water, or the micro observation of flesh in air
"Our Fluid Nature and Cerebral Return to the Original Element"
Oil on Canvas 20'x20"
Here in the ecstatic furls of this betta's fins I found the profile of Mallika Lokitiyakul Angkatavanich, becoming liquid, via the fins of the betta (Siamese Fighting Fish). The beauty serenity and personality of a person can all be described within the ecstatic and chaotic folds of these liquid fins.
Oil on Canvas 18"x 20"
Something's Fishy is an appropriate title for a portrait of Warhol, as I was never a fan of either the man or his work. I would not normally think of painting Warhol in any format let alone the miraculous liquid form he has taken here, but when I viewed this particular fish, his face is all I could see, so here you have it. I am still surprised that in the 70's Warhol asked me to join him as protege and steal me from Dali, which I thought was absurd. I would not trade working for the preeminent genius of modern art, to someone I found somewhat pathetic.
The Fluid Nature of Salvador Dali
Oil on Canvas, 18"x24"
Being the inventor of numerous soft forms, as soft watches and the supreme visualizer of Nuclear Mysticism, there are few subjects more fitting to be depicted in a fluid form. Dali's famous portrait fits perfectly into this Betta's furled fins, and the ecstasy they depict. While Dali painted rhinoceros horns and molecular structures to allow his viewers insight into his mind, the natural evolution is to move towards fluid dynamics.
The Nuclear Fluid Father
Oil on Canvas 18"x24"
There are few individuals who deserve and actually evolved to the point of feeling and knowing the space between your own individual atoms. Albert Einstein changed the world forever with his insight into physics and the universe. In the ecstatic, furls of the fighting fish one can emote the beauty of the universe.
Einstein knew the interactions of matter at atomic scales and realized the fluid nature of man, and all that surrounds us.
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