Tears of the Black Tiger (Fah Talai Jone), 2000, Directed by Wisit Sasanatieng
Fah Talai Jone is one of my favorite films, and I just realized it's found a way into my newest paintings. I saw it in Bangkok when it first came out in the year 2000, and well let me tell you, it blew me away. The whole film is hand-colored, and the sets are amazing. Thai people have a strange sense of humor, which you can see here. Thai commercials are also really famous for being over-the-top ridiculous. In fact, I auditioned for a well-known Wrangler commercial while I lived there, but didn't get the part.
The last time I visited Thailand, Sean and I went to Chatuchak Market and we came across a stall that had only old Wranglers, cowboy shirts and boots, belt buckles, and cowboy hats. There was one mean-looking Thai cowboy with no shirt on, Buddhist tattoos and lots of Buddha necklaces and then two younger fellas who had on all the right gear--one of them might have been trying to play a guitar. They were listening to Johnny Cash. I love witnessing awesome shit like that.
This is another new painting. I wasn't thinking of Fah Talai Jone or Thai cowboys when I was making it, but it's in there. I was thinking about Dylan Thomas' play Under Milk Wood which starts out describing the characters' dreams as they lay asleep under their roofs.
(I need a new title) Under Milk Wood, Acrylic on Canvas, 60"x72"
I'm definitely thinking about flatness in its various forms in these new paintings and in the previous body of work. Before they were still lifes, which entailed staging little or big set-ups. Now I suppose I'm just referencing the backdrop and painted sets. I feel relieved to not be painting objects.