RAIJIN & FUJIN
The inspiration for my works is the golden painting Fujin Raijin-zu (Picture of Wind and Thunder Gods) by Tawaraya Sōtatsu 俵屋 宗達 from the early Edo period 17th century, a National Treasure of Japan, depicting Rajin (god of thunder) white, and Fujin (god of wind) green.
"The iconography of the Raijin and Fujin gods has been heavily influenced by Buddhist art, itself influenced by Greek and Indian art." - wikipedia
This sort of malleable identity led to the idea of doing another ukiyo-e/hiphop remix. One one side, these two ubiquitous deities who are gods of thunder and wind. On the other, the eternal combination of DJ and MC, represented by one of the greatest-of-all-time duos, Eric B and Rakim.
The original Raijin has drums encircling him, so it wasn't a stretch to imagine them as vinyl records. And since I wanted to depict Eric B and Rakim in the height of their cheesy golden-era-of-hip-hop pomp, I needed to adorn the deities with thick chains and ostentatious jewelry.
I'd never done an airbrush painting this big before, and it took longer than I ever expected. But I also learned a tremendous amount.