Sunday, September 22, 2013

Between Rage and Serenity

Still love this poster!
"I believe that true focus lies somewhere between rage and serenity." - Charles Xavier

Before I go on to finish my Avengers Project, I was inspired to do another comic book inspired  piece, this time from The Wolverine. I wasn't expecting too much from the film, (other than the awesomeness that is Hugh Jackman) for my X-men love has been somewhat dimmed of late. However, to my surprise, The Wolverine was quite a good film in many respects, exploring the ideas of the Wolverine's immortality, his inner struggles with his past, and the uncertainty of his future. In accordance with these, one thing that stood out to me was Wolverine's relationship with Mariko Yashida. Granddaughter to Yashida, a man Wolverine rescued during the bombing of Nagasaki now turned CEO of powerful technological corporation, Mariko is inexplicably thrown together with Wolverine through a mesh of power politics in which Mariko finds herself in danger of her life. Wolverine becomes her protector, the very legend her grandfather had told so many stories about when she was a child, whom she now finds to be a haunted and lonely man. He is burdened by countless nightmares and visions of Jean Grey, as he is unable to live with the decisions he has made or the never-ending curse of his immortality. He is paralyzed unable to move forward from his past and having no purpose to continue on to his future, truly a broken man. In this dark state, Wolverine is instantly struck by Mariko's quiet, intense spirit and they slowly fall in love through
The beautiful scene when Wolverine first meets Mariko.
In the Rain. Everything awesome happens in the rain.
the course of the story, but what stands out to me is how Mariko is able to break through Wolverine's hardened outer shell to the man beneath, making him face his past and inevitably giving him the incentive for his future. One of my favorite scenes is when Wolverine awakens violently from another nightmare, his body tense, his claws extended ready to attack, but Mariko lays at his side, not even flinching, speaking to him quietly, and even lightly touching his claws without any fear. Slowly she calms him as she speaks, bringing stillness and serenity to the rage of Wolverine's spirit. It so perfectly illustrated her tranquility that irresistibly recalls Wolverine from the downward spiral of his life. I even love the visual contrast between Mariko and Wolverine, Mariko being lithe and delicate, a fragile thing in comparison to Wolverine's bulk and hardness. It is even interesting to note that when Wolverine first meets her, she is wearing white, the symbol of who she was going to become for Wolverine. It is very much a beauty and the beast type of concept as well, and in the end, Wolverine finds the freedom and strength to move on. It is a beautiful relationship, but subtly and quietly played out in the film, which I very much appreciate.

So, you are probably realizing by now why I chose the quote from X-Men First Class (another good film, by the way). That quote was something I instantly thought of while watching this movie, for Wolverine finds his true focus somewhere "between rage and serenity." In my piece, I wanted to really bring out these concepts. Keeping with the Asian-inspired style of minimalism, I have Wolverine and Mariko standing on either side, Mariko blossoming in the serenity of white, and Wolverine materializing from rage of darkness. The focal point extends from Mariko's face, from the blackness of her hair and gold dividing line to her hands caressing his hand in the sea of red, the red symbolizing the focus between rage and serenity. I've kept everything abstract in design, with rough. illustrative strokes with the clarity coming to the focal point of their hands. I've, of course, added texture, which I think always adds an extra dimension to any piece.

I hope you've enjoyed this post. This piece, along with my Avengers pieces, shall be available to purchase at the Phoenix Comicon next year, so hope to see you there! Information on my booth's location shall be provided soon and in a more official capacity so everyone can find me. Thanks! Here's to September!

He makes everything beautiful in its time . . . Ecclesiastes 3:11

1 comment:

  1. This piece is perfection, especially the red and white, the two-sided imagery. It's very Asian! hehe reminds me of the yin-yang. Anyway obviously I love this so much and I really loved how you relished that scene of her calming him down after his nightmare. I didn't even really think about that symbolism (funny enough haha) and it fits perfectly! I love how she looks like she is just floating gently into his life, just like she actually does in real life. Beautiful!