Monday, 7 April 2014

Plastic Band



These are some (lets face it) pretty creepy images from my current sketchbook; I'm working on an illustrated biography of Yoko Ono and I'm trying very hard to show her in a good light, as well as show her achievements outside of The Beatles. It's quite difficult because most of the iconic imagery surrounding her involves John for obvious reasons so I find myself drawn to things that are more about him, the exact opposite of what I want to achieve. This is tricky... Hence the choice not to paint his face in the legendary Annie Leibovitz photo. But then this just looked unfinished, and maybe more like a reference to his untimely death than his dominating presence in Yoko's public perception, so I added the Hannya mask. For those of you who aren't literate in Japanese theatre (as I was until three weeks ago) the Hannya mask is so terrifying and creepy, from above it is shudderingly menacing, but viewed from below it changes to this equally disturbing expression of complete hysterical misery; they are fantastic pieces of craftsmanship and I highly recommend you Google at your own peril. It is supposed to represent women who become demons through jealousy or obsession, attributes people unfortunately associate with Yoko what with her sitting in on Beatles recordings and the like. But people forget that John left The Beatles because he couldn't stand to be apart from Yoko for more than an hour, so I think both are equally definable as obsessive. I love the way that changing the face has turned this picture filled with love and partnership into this sinister parasitic idea. There's loads more of my sketchbook pages and other things to pore over on my Tumblr, including a painting of John Lennon's glasses I love, but again probably can't use.


1 comment:

Josie said...

I like that you're trying to show her in a good light, people always slag her off but John had his own mind...like you say, it was a bit of both of them, she wasn't all to blame! I really want to google a Hannya mask now but I think I'm going to wait until it's daytime, probably not a good idea to do it just before I go to sleep ha xxx