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We Were Kings - Mike Tyson/ Muhammad Ali - MGKINGSN
NOTES: We Were Kings - Mike Tyson/ Muhammad Ali. This piece was actually conceptualized in October 2015. The conversation started with a discussion about my fascination with the power, opulence and decadence of rock stars and how this lead to them to being my primary subject focus. We discussed how the term “rock star” became synonymous with excellence in any field and how the term “like a rock star” became a euphemism to express this. We tried to think of another profession where an individual was given this type of power, where the decadence and controversy was almost celebrated. The only profession that came to mind was that of the heavy weight champion of the world. Not so much these days, but anyone over forty can attest that to be the heavy weight champion was to be the king of the world. Who ever held those belts, enjoyed the same and maybe even surpassed that of a rock star. Prior to the late nighties, the champ was pretty much a fifth Beatle. Ali originally came to mind for this piece due to his brash, charismatic persona, however, I was much too young to really know Ali in his prime. Mike was an obvious choice as I was a huge fan. Mike is the living embodiment of my rock star analogy above, complete with the controversy, opulence and notoriety. After settling on a Tyson piece, I ran the idea pass a close friend of mine who also happens to be a close personal friend of Mr. Tyson. He provided me with insight into Mike’s admiration and respect for Ali – it was then that I decided to embark on a joint tribute piece to both fighters. Obviously after the passing of Mr. Ali, the direction of the piece changed but the title “We Were Kings” was never more pertinent and important..
We Were Kings - Mike Tyson/ Muhammad Ali by Stickman is signed by the artist and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
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Trevor “Stickman” Stickel specializes in icon based, pop-realism portraits that capture legendary moments, powerful ideas, and raw emotion. His work is described as gritty-yet fresh, complex-yet simple. Graduating from a Jekyll and Hyde influence early in his career, in which he divided his time between family portraits and airbrush design work on helmets and Harleys, Stickman had the epiphany to combine both styles while reading “According to the Rolling Stones”. Two weeks later he finished his first canvas portrait of Mick Jagger, aptly titled “Please allow me to introduce myself”, which forever changed the direction of his career in the art world. THE MISSION The idea or "mission" behind Stickman’s artwork is to create an artistic tribute to the music and to the musicians that have had a tremendous impact on him and many others. Historically, these tributes would have been limited to photos/posters that adorned the bedroom walls of teenagers and dorm rooms throughout adolescence. Stickman aims to create a style of art that brings these iconic figures back into our lives, and in a manner that adults can display proudly in their homes. THE CONCEPT The concept is to take a realistic portrait and juxtapose it with a background that expresses the feelings and emotions of the subject. This method also allows Stickman to explore other disciplines of art – many of his backgrounds will include abstract, expressionism, impressionism, realism, pop art, street art, surrealism and quite often a combination of these. This is where he gets to enjoy the artistic side of these pieces, while paying additional homage to some of his favorite visual artists. THE HIDDEN MESSAGES AND SYMBOLS In addition to the art itself, Stickman also adds (and quite often hides) his trademarked Stickman symbol (stick figure with devil horns) and the statement "Devil Inside" to the painting. • The Stickman symbol is derived from Stickman’s last name (Stickel) and a common phrase he hears from viewers, "I can't even draw a stick man". The horns represent rock and roll (his primary focus), which is generally regarded as the devil’s music, and references the duality of man (good vs. evil). • The statement "Devil Inside" also references this Jekyll and Hyde type of duality. Stickman often feels there is a difference between Stickman the artist and Trevor Stickel the person. When focused on a subject and working on a piece, he often gets so involved in the subject he finds himself emulating them in the way he dresses and acts, similar to a method actor. • The signature on the bottom right corner usually shows the Stickman symbol imitating the subject. THE TITLE The title of each piece is often overlooked but may very well be the most important piece of the puzzle. Stickman looks for a lyric that he believes personifies the subject or his feeling toward that subject and from there, begins to create an image and feeling that takes the viewer to that emotional state of mind. The titles are always a lyric from the subject's song but never the title of a song. If the viewer is a fan of the subject, they should almost hear the lyric or feel the emotion of the lyric when looking at the piece. Knowing the title completes the emotional connection to the painting and usually reveals a personal trait about the subject.