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This print is the second release in the Tattoo Gratitude series. It depicts two very similar characters from very different cultures: Greece’s Medusa and Bali’s Rangda.
The words for this print are from a chapter in the Finnish epic poem, The Kalevala, that is rather harsh. In it, an old woman tells a young bride how her new life with her husband and his family will be painful, lonely and difficult. She gives detailed instructions on how to best perform all her arduous chores despite the thanklessness and cruelty she will receive in return. The old woman then goes on to tell how she did all of this good work and ended up hated, rejected and homeless after doing everything right. It’s a rough go.
The stories of Medusa and Rangda describe an archetype of young female power and intelligence that receives so much cruelty and abuse that it becomes hardened and angry. These characters then direct that anger outward, arbitrarily and with great destructive force. It’s the same archetype that we find in characters like Japan’s lantern ghost, England’s Morgan Le Fay, Mexico’s La Llorona, Stephen King’s Carrie and to some degree India’s Kali. Tupac was referring to something similar when he said, “The Hate U Give Little Infants, Fucks Everyone!”
American Contemporary Artist based in Denver, Colorado, whose detailed and intricate work encompasses collage, painting, print making, sculpture, film making and more. A major up and coming artist, Zupa's themes draw from world cultures and iconographies, mythologies, vintage print, Renaissance woodcuts, Pop Culture and literary references to create eclectic, ornate and politically charged artworks. The result is an artwork that uses images, spirituality and revolution from around the Globe in the search of a Universal expression through design, pattern and evocative forms.
The celebration of the most ancient ways of making art are also present - each and every image contained in Zupa's work is drawn by himself by hand, and with his appreciation of the original Flemish woodcut artists of the Renaissance comes a love of original printmaking.
Zupa has collaborated with Shepard Fairey and Obey as part of the Obey Artist Series, and produced poster artwork for the bands Pearl Jam and The Pixies. Zupa also collaborates on works with his artist wife, Arna Miller.