Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Art of Aaron Fung

When I first came across today's featured shop, I sat in awe of the delicate, haunting beauty of Aaron Fung's paintings and drawings.  Ethereal and full of emotion's shadows and dark corners, the paintings somehow manage to evoke an angelic grittiness.  Here's what the artist has to say...

A Beautiful Dream Image - original drawing fine art Giclee print

CM: Tell us a bit about yourself...
AF:  The Old English word for one who studies history is "timewriter."

       That is how I would like to be known, as the timewriter...
                                                                       Or the dream catcher...
                                                                                  My name is Aaron Fung.

   There is not much to say about myself.
No, that was not me you read about in the newspapers; I have not been featured in the evening news; nor have I any level of recognition in the blogosphere.
   I have a grand total of 7 followers on Twitter, and I think my last tweet scared away 2 of them.
I am the author of a blog, with a whopping 2 subscribers, and one of them is me.
   There is nothing you need to know about me.
I am simple: I create art, and I box.
   And I study history at the University of California Berkeley, with emphasis on early modern European thought.

Vision of a Wanderer- original drawing fine art Giclee print

CM: When and how did you start drawing?
AF: I have been drawing since childhood, as I assume most folks.
   The difference is I never put aside my Crayolas.
I guess I started drawing because, as a child, I was never very good at coloring.
   I don't think I was ever very good at coloring; as hard as I tried I could never color within the lines. I remember the kids who colored neatly were complimented by the teacher, but I only received   admonishment for my messiness.
   The banal pictures in the coloring books, or indeed in any of the books always disappointed me. As a child, I always wanted the illustrations to be more, to be my vision.
   Why couldn't the Pete the Parakeet stand before a stormy tempest? Why couldn't Peter Rabbit live in a tower of ancient stone?
   Why couldn't Snow White play Duckhunt on a Nintendo system?
I drew on all the illustrations in all my books.
   Not only did I not color between the lines, I ignored the lines.
And I just continued to ignore the lines, creating my vicarious daydreams in pigment.

In the Sphere of Dream and Spell - original drawing fine art Giclee print

CM: What inspires your art?
AF: I am inspired by the muse.
  Or perhaps the ineffability of the muse, a muse that cannot be understood, only followed into aesthetic madness.
  Steven Pressfield, in his book "The War of Art," describes how the ancient Greeks say that one cannot become an artist without being seized by the divine madness of the muse; without this frenzy the craftsman cannot rise above the level of well trained hack.
  The Greeks call this spirit Daemon: the Romans call it Genius.

We call it Inspiration.

  When I seek to analyze my muse, to describe her beauty, the uncertain darkness within her heart, I find my diction grasps at little more than the most superficial mascara upon her brow.
   Perhaps I cannot describe my inspiration directly; I must approach it indirectly, like an explorer rather than a logician.
   I am inspired by music. Like Schopenhauer I believe music, along with the other arts, provide us a glimpse beyond the illusion of phenomenal. But glimpse is not the right word, rather... feeling, and intuition...
    When questing for the Holy Grail, the Arthurian knight began his journey alone, where the forest was thickest and darkest - where none had tread before; to tread in the path of another is dishonor: it is the knight's - the individual's - duty to find his own way through the dark.
   We fear the darkness - the unknown, the depths.
                The artist wanders the depths, the darkness where few dare to tread.
 I seek to create in each work of art a dream catcher - haunted by the echo of the dream.

Eternity in a Single Hour- original drawing fine art Giclee print 

CM: Do you have a favorite thing in your shop right now? If so, which?
AF: My current favorite is this one.
   I'll not ruin the piece by "explaining" it to you, as such explanations tend to rob the art of its depth, reducing it to an academic exercise.
   I think it is enough to say that it is my most technically proficient portrait in my shop.
I am working on some new pieces that I hope will replace this one as my favorite, though.
   I feel I must constantly advance my art, to go farther; I must strive to exceed my last efforts.

A Vision Born of Enigmatic Depth - original drawing fine art Giclee print

CM: Do you have any favorite items or shops on Etsy? If so, which one(s)?
AF: There are a lot of wonderful pieces on Etsy, too many to list here.
 But feel free to peruse my favorite list.

was never good at saying good byes, so I'll instead leave you with a few lines from Goethe's "Faust", as Goethe says more in four lines than I could in a thousand.

"Give us a play with such emotion!
Reach into life, it is a teeming ocean!
All live in it, not many know it well,
And where you seize it, it exerts a spell."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Cruelty of Victory is the Pinnacle of Life's Jubilation - original drawing fine art giclee print
Thank you, Aaron!  Stay tuned for more great Etsy shops this week!

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