Acrobat.....(see below)
38" x 26", acrylic, 2006

This is Marek. He's a drummer, a damn good drummer. He's also a friend, a damn good friend. There's nothing pretentious about Marek. He's a little shit-crazy on the side, but aren't most artists like that? Marek wasn't my first choice for a tattooed subject. I had my eye on this tall, beautiful young woman with an eclectic variety of tattoos scattered across her entire body, a good number of them cartoonish in nature. I even had the perfect title for the painting: "Tattoon"! Isn't that a great title. I would have preferred painting this woman for obvious reasons, but two things happened that unequivocally tipped the balance in Marek's favor.

Face Detail
.....The Unbelievable Truth.....(see below)
One day, I saw Marek sporting his black top. The black top contrasted greatly with his skin tones and colorful tattoos. I knew right then and there that a painting of him was possible, but it was going to take more than this to forego the painting with the tattooed woman. It was going to take some-
thing truly inspirational. Then one day, I found my inspiration. I pulled out a memory from my adolescence when I used to play drums. I remembered the great feeling of being "in the groove" with my drumset. When this happens, you are "one" with your instrument. Any musician will testify to this. This is where I got the idea of fusing Marek's drumsticks with the snare drum.

Tattoo Detail
.....featuring.....(see below)
The title of the painting was a no-brainer. There are three fusion elements in this painting. First, in music jargon, "fusion" is a word used to describe the combi-
nation of several music styles into one: jazz-rock fusion for example. Like the chicken or the egg, I don't remember what came first, the title of the painting inspiring the idea of fusing his sticks, or the idea of fusing his sticks inspiring the title of the painting. Second, I wanted Marek to wear his black top for two reasons; to bring out the skin tones and colorful tattoos as I mentioned before; and to fuse it with the black background. Third, I realized that all the snakeheads in his tattoos were unfortunately on the backside of his arm and not in view, so I remedied this situation by including a snakehead (as a reflected image) in the snare throw-off piece. Mamma Mia! This painting is a "fusion" bonanza!

I knew this painting was going to explode with color.
For the first time, I used blacks and blues in the background instead of traditional earth colors. It was a logical decision. Earth colors would have clashed with the cool colors of the main subjects. You have to see this painting in person to realize how wonderful the colors complement each other. You can say that I ended up painting a colorful subject in more ways than one! Hmmmm....., wait a minute. Did I just call Marek a "colorful subject"? That was rather lame. Let's try again. How about, "One mean shit-crazy *@#%$* drumming machine". That's better. Reputation restored. That's all folks. Thanks for coming, and goodnight.

. . . . Ladies and gentlemen, MAREK HAS LEFT THE BUILDING!

Sticks/Snare Drum Fusion Detail
.....Nathan Wilson, Phil White, Jay Hopkins, Marek Michalski