This mural represents New Brunswick and Highland Park. On the left hand side of the mural there is a human form reaching towards a yellow symbol. Simply, this is a person “reaching for the stars,” a basic metaphor anyone could understand. But the mural also depicts the looming threat of consumerism and how it can disrupt a pristine state of culture and innocent state of nature. New Brunswick, represented by shapes which resemble buildings, looms in the background over Highland Park. Highland Park is depicted through imagery inspired by a hodgepodge of cultural influences.
Environments in which a variety cultures confront each other are ripe with creative energy. Highland Park is one of these place and I am worried that if this big business mentality that is taking over downtown New Brunswick creeps into our town we may lose this positive energy.
Although the mural is about the specific relationship between Highland Park and New Brunswick, it is also a metaphor for what’s happening around the world in culturally rich areas. It hints at what has happened in slightly different ways through the history of colonialism, which is why nature is depicted on the far right side. This contemporary theft of cultural resources is similar to the theft of natural resources which happened in colonial times.
The piece was also heavily inspired by Nietzsche’s short work, necessary reading for most young literary critics, “The Birth of Tragedy, and the working name of the mural is “The Birth of Tragedy.” To simplify, there is a strong structure based on some heavy duty perspective work. But within the structure, I let loose! I created a structure for improvisation. I wanted to capture passionate energy within a mathematically sound, well-defined form. I believe that the intersection of intellectual art and passionate art makes the best art!
Additionally there is a strong influence by the Manifesto Antropafagia by Oswaldo de Andrade, written at the inception of the Brazilian Modernism movement. One aspect of this paper which I found most appealing, and relevant, is the idea of Brazilian culture being a "cannibal" culture; it devours other cultures and makes a product uniquely Brazilian.
Due to the dramatic innovations in technology which permit access to information, we can consume as much culture as we want from anywhere we want. It is just as easy for me to hear the hottest new Jamaican music as the hottest new music coming from Brooklyn. This mural brings in diverse influences from ancient Egyptian patterns to contemporary Graffiti color and line tendencies. This mural is a cannibal!