Eukarezt - Artist

Matt Tuohy
By Matt Tuohy
Friday - September 12, 2008
| Del.icio.us

AUTOFOCUS

Eukarezt - Artist

Eugene “Eukarezt"Christopher is a journeyman artist,whose style has literally changed and grown with him throughout his life. But he credits his art career to his elder cousin who wouldn’t let Christopher near his comic books.

“He’d say,‘Oh, your hands are so oily, you’re not going to touch my comic books, man.’ And I was just, like, ‘Alright, just tell me how they look then,” recalls Christopher.“So with my imagination, I would just try to draw like that, and I’d ask him, ‘Does it look like this?’ and he’d say, ‘Oh, not even close, man.’”


These days Christopher has moved beyond his comic-inspired sketches to oils, spray paints and even watercolors.“It flows more and dries faster,” he explains, referring to his work with watercolors.“I like painting fast.”

Christopher traveled to Australia, India, Jordan and other countries several years ago, painting people on the streets and the streets themselves, further developing himself as an artist while at the same time serving his church as a missionary.

“I was a missionary for about four years,” he says.“I considered myself an art-evangelist at the time. Even though I’m in another country, the art breaks language barriers. I can’t speak their language, but with a painting or an illustration on a wall, it would mean something.”

An interesting aspect of Christopher’s work is where he finds his inspiration: past experiences, which change as he grows. He explains how, as a kid, he would do graffiti to lash out, and then during his missionary years he found messages and themes,such as poverty, to work with. “It’s just now all tying in together, and all those experiences become what I’m doing now.”

Christopher is a GroundUp contributing artist and also is sponsored by Jedidiah, a California-based clothing company that specializes in urban designs.

“We did a few shows in San Diego and New York,” says Christopher on working with Jedidiah. “I was in surf magazines. But usually they just give me free clothes.”

To further broaden his artistic horizons, Christopher recently got an apprenticeship as a tattoo artist at Soul Signature Tattoo, and was invited to apprentice at TattooLicious.“It’s just a new field that I can get into,” he says. “Once I finish (apprenticing) I can start tattooing.”

Samples of Christopher’s art can be found at http://www.myspace.com/86979103, http://www.jedidiahusa.com or http://groundupmovement.com/graffiti.html.

THELOCALCANVAS

The Puppet Show

When I think of puppets, Lamb Chop, Cookie Monster, Pinocchio and other childhood memories come to mind. The lessons they taught us in sharing, counting and so on leave a positive impression from the personified dolls’ lifelike characters. However, there is always another side, or different viewpoint, to everything. Puppets are no exception.

The Contemporary Museum in Makiki Heights currently is displaying The Puppet Show, A collection of works by 26 artists that gives a colorful, and sometimes darker, connotation to puppetry.

“(The show) has so many artists who haven’t been shown in Hawaii,” says Jay Jensen, one of the curators for the museum.“It was a great opportunity to present a wide range of artists who are new to the community.”

This is not an exhibit of historical ventriloquist dummies, or collections of puppets from around the world. Instead, the exhibit features puppetry to convey themes and thoughts instead of canvas and a paint-brush. Some of the more notable artists include Kara Walker, Pierre Huyghe, William Kentridge and University of Hawaii at Manoa alumnus Dennis Oppenheim, who produced several marionettes that hang from the ceiling and dance with the help of motors.

Examples of UH Manoa alumnus David Oppenheim’s work now on display at the Contemporary Museum

There are pictures of puppets with their human counterparts, films that help bring the puppet theme to life, and there are several artistic interpretations of using puppets to convey a certain message.

Parents and teachers beware: Though the name of the exhibit sounds family-friendly,there are many graphic images and some violence in a lot of the films and pictures, which might be a bit harsh for children.“It’s not really a kid show,“says Jensen,“but there are some things, like the Puppet Conference (a short film that features Fozzy Bear,Lamb Chop and Grover), that kids can relate to. But the themes and the works are really mature and adult.They deal with deep social, psychological and political subjects.”


This and future shows are a part of efforts to appeal to younger audiences, says Jensen. He also mentioned an exhibition coming in December called Japan Amazing, which will feature manga and Japanese animation.“The work in the show looks pretty fantastic,” says Jensen. “The imagery is all dealing with imagination, fantasy and dreams.”

The Puppet Show was compiled and organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, and will be at the museum until Nov.23.Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students and free for children under age 12.

For more information, call 523-3362 or visit www.tcmhi.org.

 

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