Artist StatementFor the Sea Walls x Shine Mural Festival, I was tasked with depicting harmful algal blooms, better known as "red tides."
I did this by using one of my signature characters by the name of Ashi. I use this character to pull from my past of growing up on the Southside of St. Pete and almost being molded into this hard, always-ready-for-anything kind of kid. Constantly being defiant, constantly throwing myself in the way of danger, just for the fun of it.
Since this was basically the grand showcase of my work, I wanted to take it in another direction, so I decided to use my character's attributes to do some good in my little world of cartoons.
The piece depicts him in a body of water with these red flowers on top of the waves. They are representational of the red tide algae organism, almost bleeding into the water like tea. The wildlife underneath is obviously being harmed.
He's soaking up all of the toxins in the water, in turn, turning them into tattoos on his body and spewing from his nose. They make him dizzy, so he transformed himself, using his nature because he realized he can't change the root of his being but can change how he decides to present that part of himself to the world.
The FocusHarmful "red tide" algae blooms