So I’ve had this huge canvas sitting in my living room for the past two weeks. It was a gift to me from Maxine, a designer that uses my job but also I real big supporter of my art. She kept saying “Go bigger, go bigger” with my paintings and she apparently meant it when she gave me a 4ft x 3ft blank canvas to work on. Honestly I was extremely intimidated by this massive thing, my mind drawing blank after blank when it came to ideas of what to do.
Finally, I just said I’m going to continue working on my other 16x20 ones till something hits me. And after a wave of ideas started pouring for paintings an idea for the canvas hit me. By now most have seen the 35 minute mini movie Kanye West made called “Runaway” .
The basic concept was a Phoenix falls to Earth and Mr. West falls in love with her, they begin the love affair till one day she asks Kanye about how statues where made. Yeezy responds that he feels artist craved them, but she interrupts and explains that if you take the wings from a Phoenix it turns to stone. It’s basically an analogy about how the world destroys their stars and most talented and she (Phoenix) tells Ye she has to burn and leave to go back to her own world.
Of course Kanye doesn’t want her to leave, but after a night of love she does just that. And Kanye is seen trying to reach her before she goes but it’s to late. The movie is beautiful as well as the underling message. The next day, Kanye release the new G.O.O.D Friday song “Don’t Look Down” featuring Lupe Fiasco, Mos Def and Big Sean. The timing couldn’t be better, the song basically tells the emotion of the man having to let his love, the phoenix leave and how it hurts them deeply. Again I loved this concept. And it hit me a night or to ago of using it as the concept for the painting. On facebook status I wrote:
"You can be the Phoenix in my Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and I will let you fly/ let your beauty burn up the heavens, before I let the troubles take your wings and turn you to stone/ Just do me the favor, and don't look down, it's an impossible view; just smile/ And let God guide you home"
Using this idea I made this painting. You see The Phoenix’s head is tilled up word so she doesn’t look down and get distracted by the pain and possibly change her mind. And you see towards the bottom reaching out of the smoke of the fire caused by the phoenix’s flight are two hands. Those are the hands of her earthly loving trying to get her to come back or trying to let her go? Which ever way you want to look at it. I think it came out beautiful for me. I wanted to keep the bird-esqe features by making her feet talons, giving her a bird tail and wings extending from her arms. I wanted to make the wings look as beautiful as possible color wise, because of how amazing they were in “Runaway”.
I think the name is obvious, and very well suited for this painting. “Runaway, Phoenix”. It could be interpreted in so many ways, maybe she’s escaping (running away). Maybe he is letting her go, etc.