Ukiyo-e, the Japanese style of woodblock prints and painting, shows up more than once in this week's CityBeat. One of the artists discussed in our Arts & Culture feature (Triple Threat) works in the vintage medium. But anyone familiar with the genre's most famous names (Hishikawa Moronobu, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, among others) will immediately notice the influence of their 'pictures of floating worlds' on the winged vixen on this week's cover.
'The cover is actually one half of the piece,' says Mark Richmond when asked about his painting chosen for our front page. 'There's a second angel, an Asian one. There's one representing the sun, the other the moon. I am very fascinated how the sun and moon can perfectly eclipse one another with respect to the distance Earth has to both. To me, it's proving some sort of divine mathematical circumstance.'
Well, OK then. But when you examined the art more closely, you can also see touches of fantasy artists like Michael Parkes and HR Giger, and even some of the better tattoo art. These many influences have likely helped the 40-year-old land gigs creating murals at the San Diego Airport and JWok restaurant Downtown.
'I like to consider myself a part of the social realist movement,” says Richmond, who's lived here since 1987. 'Not socialism, but being very multiculturally aware. Not just being a part of American culture, but reaching out and learning about other cultures and societies.'
He hopes to take this open-mindedness, as well as his experience working in video games and animation, and apply them to an upcoming graphic novel he plans to shop around at this year's Comic-Con and hopes will one day be optioned for an animated feature and more.
'I'm working to get some type of book, movie, toy deal via my story and art. I know it is thinking big, but it's not unobtainable.'