I love making portraits of other artists. True, a portrait of anyone is a wonderful mystery waiting to be unlocked, but I always have an extra sense of excitement before I make a portrait of an artist. I think it is because they are often willing to experiment and collaborate, and are more willing to be patient while I exact my desire for perfection and exploration. Louie Gong was no exception.
Louie Gong is an artist, activist and educator, among other things. His heritage is Nooksack/Chinese/French/Scottish, so he brings a really unique perspective to his work, along with a modern sense of style. His murals are incredible. When I first saw his work, it felt somewhat familiar in the sense that there is a fair amount of Native American art here in the Pacific Northwest. But very quickly you realize that something is different about this piece: a modern sensibility that at the same time still feels authentic to its roots. Then I start to see the Chinese influence which seems so subtle at first glance. It’s quite brilliant.
Louie just opened a really cool new store here in Seattle called Eighth Generation. I want the blanket he is wearing, which he also designed. Christmas wishlist… If you aren’t in the Seattle area, fear not, they have a great online store as well.