Oklahoma artist Marwin Begaye's making some strong statements regarding unhealthy living and addictive eating habits. His are the type of images that get-in-your-face and speak the prophesy of our fast and furious lifestyle; that alcohol, drugs, smoking, and restaurant chains have obvious consequences = death.
Begaye utilizes the ever popular gang and subculture-induced tattoo imagery of skulls, Gothic lettering and visual messaging to communicate the evils of a hard and fast existence. His messages are multi-layered, and splashed with bright colors. Their complexity pulls in the viewer and lets his subliminal images settle into our collective subconscious, much in the same way that Pieter Bruegel the Elder's work did in the playfully moralistic "Fall of Icarus" painting from the 16th century.
The fun-loving skeleton in "Addiction 3" (above) is loaded with disarmingly bright color and deceptively beautiful script detailing a mantra of different addictions, and how the searingly comical cracked-skull skeleton can smoke, drink and be haloed by an assortment of heroin addicts' needles is inspired. Clearly, Begaye is trying to reach out with his work to grab peoples' attention easily seduced by this blatant form of gratification and rock band CD covers to think a little longer about the results of such frivolous pastimes.
Lastly, I enjoy Begaye's humorous and spirited reference to Albrecht Durer's Horseman of the Apocalypse, his "Mancmesaround", (above) where his horseman warrior wears Indian feathers, has an alcoholic beverage emblazoned on his shield and McDonald's crowning the top of his spear, while his masked steed tramples over a land strewn with discarded fast food wrappers and pop containers.
Begaye's scatheing viewpoint of the affects of our mass-marketed, logoed existence asks these questions, 'how will you hide from the fast food horseman?' and 'what are you willing to do to save yourselves from this drug-infested media blitz that surrounds our every move?' Only the junkies who are truly repentant can survive. Those zombied souls addicted to salt, sugar, caffeine, coffee, cigs, BK, McD's, alcohol, mj, h, and meth willingly follow the apocalyptic horseman as he rides across this diseased Earth. They don't know where the journey will end, because they can only seek the next high, the next buzz. As Begaye forewarns, what they don't see coming are the Gates of Hell.