Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review: 2011

Here we are once again, facing the end of another year while eagerly awaiting the genesis of another. As time races by, one must always take some time out to reflect on the events of the year past to examine one's achievements as well as one's shortcomings.

This year has exposed me to a diverse range of experiences. The year two thousand and eleven has taken me from tragedy to triumph and back.

With 2011 almost behind us, I will take this opportunity to recap my experiences this year in the visual arts.

In no particular order:

  • Republic Bank - Young Artists' Canvas to the World Project

In December of the previous year, 2010, I entered into Republic Bank's Young Artists' Canvas to the World Project.  Forced to paint during my end of term examinations of my first term in Form 4, this competition put my body and mind under a very large quantity of stress.

Thankfully, after a week or two of hard artistic labour between exams, as well as a very long month of tense waiting, I was invited to the awards ceremony at Republic Bank's head office.

There, I was announced as one of the seven winners of this competition. One of the champions.

My winning piece: The Magic of the Monarch

My winnings included $5,000 in cash for myself, $5,000 in art supplies for my school and the exhibition of my piece of art at the Piarco International Airport and at the Trincity branch of Republic Bank.

You can read the entire trilogy of this story starting here.

  • HOUSE M.D. Portrait

Earlier this year, at the beginning of my Easter vacation, I started a new portrait. The subject of this portrait happened to be a favourite television character of mine, Hugh Laurie in the role of Dr. Gregory House.

However, at the private viewing of Canvas Caribbean's exhibit, With an Open Mind, I was advised by my visual arts teacher to stop doing portraits of foreign celebrities. Hence I decided that since this was the last portrait of these celebrities and characters originating outside of our shores, I would be letting this one go out with a bang.

This decision as well as an improvement in my skills led to the birth of my (now famous?) graphite portrait of Dr. Gregory House.

This is currently my flagship portrait, but who knows how long it's reign as my best portrait will be?
2012 seems like a very long year filled with opportunities for me.

This portrait has been very influential in many of my successes this year.

You can read more about this portrait here

This brings me to my next achievement...

  • Guide to Online Schools' Student Blogging Awards

To all of those who can remember this button, I am deeply grateful for your support, your time and your energies towards promoting my blog. Your tireless voting put me into the winning spot once again.

With your appreciation of my post on the House M.D. portrait, your tireless voting placed me into the top 10 of the competition. Then, a panel of judges selected the five winning posts based on their quality.

I was one of those five.

You can read more here

  • Caribbean Beat Magazine

  Republic Bank was also responsible for another accomplishment of mine, being semi-featured in the Caribbean Beat magazine. This magazine is available free of charge to all passengers of Caribbean Airlines and Air Jamaica on their respective flights.

In the article in the May/June issue of this year, Republic Bank spoke about the success of the competition and its impact on the lives of its participants and its winners.

I was elated to see that out of the seven paintings, they chose mine to display on their article.

You have the opportunity to check out this issue of Caribbean Beat magazine by clicking here

  • Heritage - The Knowsley Building

With this being a year of many firsts, it was only fitting that I try to do something groundbreaking. Something that would make people talk for days, weeks, months, even years about a piece of art created by someone so new to the industry.

I wanted to make a statement that professionals need not be these larger than life, detatched individuals.

Greatness can be achieved without losing oneself to social constructs.
Individuality is key in becoming legendary.

Just look at classical Trinidad architecture.

Also, with this being my first major architectural focused landscape, I intended to set a high standard for my work. After five weeks of painstaking detail, shadowing and artistic substitution, 'Heritage' was born.

Heritage - 2011, Graphite pencils on paper: 22" x 17"

As it turned out, this piece along with my portrait of Dr. House became my premier pieces at my school's inaugural Visual Arts exhibition.

  • Secrets: The Inaugural Exhibition

As a student of Hillview College, I have the ability to represent my school by the way I conduct myself and the things that I do. I can choose whether to be a positive change to society or to succumb to the pressures of negativity and conformity to the social environment we exist in.

When given the opportunity to display my artwork for the public eye, I must admit that I was a bit concerned underneath all of my excitement and intrigue. However, after the magnificent experience I gained from this occasion, I have faith that my generation can rise from the ashes of Trinidadian society and construct a new reality for the future of the minds of this nation.

Secrets has been a very enlightening experience for myself as I experienced first-hand what it feels like to make a positive impact on others, no matter how miniscule that impact is.

I felt appreciated by people who hardly knew me, I became a celebrity for a week :) , I received some harsh critiques as well as some heartwarming compliments for my efforts. I experienced some extreme contrasts but I deeply appreciated every moment that was bestowed upon me during our exhibition.

You can catch a glimpse of some of the exhibition pieces here

  • The Gourmet Genie

As my first clients in the sphere of Graphic Design, I am deeply grateful to the owners of the Gourmet Genie for taking a leap of faith in hiring me to create a television commercial promoting their business in Southern Trinidad.

The Gourmet Genie is a lovely little store which specializes in gourmet food items, teas, coffees, seasonings etc. They also feature 'as seen on TV' products from a variety of famous Food Network personalities.

You can find the Gourmet Genie at Ground Floor, SSL Building, 40 Sutton St, San Fernando

Feel free to visit their Facebook page

And so ends another year in our lives. Was it a worthwhile one?
The year ahead is filled with opportunities to embrace as well as those to decline.

My advice to you is to set your standards high and keep your goals in sight in the coming year.
True success and happiness is born out of hard work and committment.

Have a safe, successful and rewarding 2012.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Certified Student Blogger

Do you remember that lovely little competition in November where I desperately begged you, my readers, to click a large blue button to vote for me?

Do you remember the effort you exerted?

I will never forget your generosity.

The Guide to Online Schools recently held a student blogging competition which awarded the top 5 bloggers with a brand new Kindle from The top ten bloggers were determined by the number of unique votes each post gathered. The 5 winners were selected by a panel of judges based on the quality content of the post.

Let me officially announce that I am one of those five winners.

Thanks to your hard work at voting and promoting my post, I am a winner.
Thanks to all of you, I now own an Amazon Kindle.

I appreciate all of your support and I hope you enjoy the rest of my blog as much as you enjoyed the House M.D. portrait post.


I'm currently very much engrossed in the Bourne Trilogy.
It's very difficult to pry me away from my Kindle, just ask my parents.

Thanks again to all of you!

Secrets: The Exhibition

The first term of Form 5 is finally over.
Now I have the time to update the blog.

There have been quite a few hurdles to overcome this term and there have been a great deal of troughs and crests in our preparation for our inaugural art exhibition, Secrets.

The prospect of hosting an art exhibition at our school was very overwhelming when the idea was first conceived in May, 2011. At that point in time, we were 'enjoying' the all round pressures of the last term of Form 4 and as art students, when Mrs. Tappin - Davis announced that we had the opportunity to host an exhibition, we were very excited at the prospect of showcasing our work to the public.

Needless to say, the journey was a long and hectic one, but it was very much worth it in the end.

In our brave journey into the unknown, our art teacher and we upper school artists single handedly established Hillview College as an institution with a diverse selection of opportunities for academic improvement.

We placed Hillview College on the map for the study of the Visual Arts.

The opening night was abuzz with excitement as specially invited guests enthusiastically browsed through the diverse offering of the artworks created by students of Form 5 and 6.

Our exhibition boasted a total of thirty pieces from seven different artists.
Our display was held in the college's main hall/auditorium.

 Each of our thirty easels were adorned with artworks from our Form 6 artists such as Stephen Prince and Nikolai Maximay as well as our Form 5 artists including Duane Swift, Geovanni Ram, Marc Harroo, Matthew Babwah and myself.

Here are some samples of the artworks which were exhibited:

I shall start the display with my own pieces.
These very pieces gained me a perfect score in this term's Visual Arts assessment.
You may see some of my older pieces as well among the new creations.

All of my pieces:
Form 5M 
Johnathan Smith
Johnathan Smith: Copy of The Bongo Wake - 2010, Pen and Ink : 14" x 17"

Johnathan Smith: House M.D. (portrait 2) - 2011, Graphite on paper : 17" x 22"

Johnathan Smith: The Spiral - 2011, Mixed Media : 18 x 24
Johnathan Smith: Figure Drawing study - 2011 , Graphite on paper : 17 x 22
Johnathan Smith: Heritage - 2011, Graphite on paper : 17 x 22
Johnathan Smith: Pot of Gold - 2011, Mixed Media : 11 x 15

The other artworks were contributed by our Form 6 students, Stephen Prince and Nikolai Maimay, as well as the other students in my Form 5 class. I have included two samples each of my favourite pieces from their collections as well:

Form 6
Nikolai Maximay

Form 6
Stephen Prince

Form 5E
Matthew Babwah

Form 5M
Marc Harroo

Form 5W
Geovani Ram

Form 5M
Duane Swift

Secrets has raised much awareness about the artistic talents which can be found within the walls of the nation's secondary schools, especially those within Hillview College.

Honestly, who will take over as the nation's next generation of artists?

It starts with us, the youth.
Which brings me to another point...

I was elated beyond words by the dramatic turnout of Hillview's student population, on a daily basis, to the auditorium to experience our exhibition.

As Mrs. Tappin - Davis once said, the students came into this exhibition as an oasis from all of the stresses inside of the classroom. Inside of the auditorium, all wild behaviour and horseplay ceased. For the first time in my five years at Hillview, I saw a different side to the students.

They were serene.

I was also elated by the visit of the art students of two other secondary schools.

The Forms 3 - 6 art students of El Dorado East Secondary School and Gasparillo Secondary School both visited our exhibition that week. It was a very enlightening experience for me due to my own personal ignorance of art's appreciation in this country.

After seeing the neglect and pressures faced by the nation's art community, it was extremely refreshing, relieving and invigorating to see so many youths with a passion for the arts. Every single one of them displayed an indiscriminate love and passion for furthering themselves in the artistic realm. Their excitement fueled my love for the arts further simply by knowing "there are more of us out there in society".

It was an honour being part of this inaugural exhibition.

OUR exhibition.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The End of Secrets

This post officially marks the end of Hillview College's first official art exhibition, Secrets.

After a fantastic opening night and a tiring exhibition week, the secret is finally out.
At 1:15p.m. November 18th, 2011, the last easel was removed and the door to Secrets was sealed.

I simply cannot believe that it is over.

I feel as though I have just lost a part of me; a part of my purpose.

I am brimming with pride from this unique experience and it has motivated me to improve my skills further to become a better artist as well as a better person in general.

I want to publicly extend my deepest gratitude to my dear art teacher Mrs. Michelle Tappin - Davis for this opportunity to show our work to all of the echelons of our society.

This has given us the chance to show the population of Hillview College and the rest of the country that the arts in schools is not something to ignore, but it is something to be embraced.

Art is creativity.
Art is life.

Don't suffocate it, nurture it...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tension is building

As I write this post, I can feel the blood rushing into my brain, starving for some rest from this forsaken melee.

Secrets, our exhibition, starts in two and a half hours and the tension is building.

Anxiety is growing and annoyance is also beginning to emerge from deep within me.

I hope that we are ready.
I hope that we make an impact.
I hope that we are indeed successful in showing Trinidad that school life is not only about academia.

I hope this goes well...

And after the closing of the exhibition, my pieces will then be gradually revealed on the blog.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Fundamentals of Photorealism (Pt. 1.5)

The main difference between a photorealist and an impressionist is the painstaking attention paid to detail.

Photorealists must not give up until every shadow falls at its perfect angle, until every glimmer of light is reflected accurately, until you can feel the textures while gazing into the art form, until every single molecule of the subject is captured on your artwork.

When you set your standards to this level, your shortcomings are masterpieces in themselves.

You must be ruthless to attain perfection; whatever your definition of that may be.

Every single piece you complete must be seen as a stepping stone to another standard.
Never believe to yourself for one moment that you have succeeded.

You must remember that your achievement is just as temporary as everything else in life.
You can only get better.

A perfect example is my progress with portraits.

Just as with academics, when you believe that you have become the best, or very near to it, you begin to slack off and think that your current level of expertise is enough to carry you forwards forever.


Never stop trying to be better, because one day, you WILL realize how far you have come.

Also, never stop adapting to new techniques and new media.

Life is a classroom, death is the only thing that stops you from learning more.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Trailer Deconstruction

I've realised that I would only be able to do a proper deconstruction of a trailer that has an emotional connection to me; something that I would enjoy doing...

Star Trek.

One of the most successful science fiction franchises in history. The roots of this franchise began growing way back in 1966 with the television airing of Gene Roddenberry's visionary ideals.

However, most sadly, in recent times, this franchise was seen as a dying one by the general public and by  Paramount studios. Paramount was desperate to reinvigorate the franchise and they did so by making a very bold move by introducing J.J. Abrams to reboot the franchise.

The following is quite possibly my favourite teaser trailer of all time.

I remember the very first time I saw this trailer.
I was screaming in ecstasy when I saw the hull markings spell out 'U.S.S. Enterprise'.

This trailer was very, very well designed.

What made this trailer so fantastic in achieving a resounding effect on me is the element of surprise.

I could only imagine how those lucky patrons felt when this trailer played before Cloverfield on the grand silver screen... Oh how I wish I was there.


The trailer begins with a very 20th century image of a welder, toiling hard at his task in a very dark atmosphere. This looks like a movie set in our normal timeline of Hollywood movies, nothing too interesting looking at first, right?

Then we see that J.J. Abrams is directing.

We hear iconic words from the 1960s.

Words, quotes, emotions pouring out of those witnessing the life of the space race of the 1960s.
We hear former U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his words to the world...

This movie is definitely a space movie.

Well then, this seems a lot more interesting now!

Who expected what we would see next?


The brilliance of this trailer also lies in the execution of  the revelation of this grand, elaborate scheme to the regular moviegoers WHILE still appealing to existing fans of the franchise like me.

The use of welding does quite a lot to cement the fact that this is not science fantasy, but science fiction.

In English, that statement simply means that the gritty, sweaty, MANUAL atmosphere we get from assembling something via welding makes us remember that this is not a ridiculously happy fantasy world where only stark contrasts exist.

The intertwining of quotes from the space age create a sense of destiny; a feeling that this is not simply ridiculous science fiction that can just be forgotten after seeing it.

This trailer makes us feel that this movie may just be a prediction of the future rather than a simple fantasy.
The pulsating beat and rhythmic fade transitions conjure a sense of suspense and grandeur as the camera pans over the starship under construction.

The strategic panning over the ship reveals very little until everything is dropped on us at the end.

At 0:46, the rising crescendo masks the subtle emergence of the bells and chimes used in the title sequence of the original Star Trek series as well as that of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' tv series.

And then It happens...

"Space, the final frontier..." 

At this point, my jaw had hit the floor and my cardiac muscles were ready to burst through my chest cavity in pure excitement.Those legendary words were mouthed by Leonard Nimoy himself...

This is Trek.

And even better...
They played the original theme during the Enterprise's reveal...

When my eyes and ears encompassed the next sight, adrenal pleasure surged through my body. I still get chills watching this trailer...

Instead of using the words 'Star Trek' to represent the movie, they did something very different.
A gleaming Starfleet emblem shone out of the darkness as a beam of light illuminated its contours and then enveloped the entire symbol.
The timeless icon of the Star Trek franchise.

The modernization of the old sound effects from the 1960s TV show, and the redesigned Federation flagship U.S.S. Enterprise, breathe new life into classic material and creates a new opportunty for the franchise "to boldly go where no one has gone before". 

This is, in my opinion, a masterpiece of a teaser trailer despite what anyone might think of the movie itself or the franchise it belongs to.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Trailer

I've realised that my heart is not in the right place for that X-Men First Class trailer and I haven't been giving it my all because frankly, I've seen deeper trailers than those.

I will however, tackle that trailer in the future, just not now...

I may have better luck with a trailer that I actually enjoy deeply and have strong motivations towards deconstructing and sharing my discoveries with the world.

And teaser trailers require more thought and depth than theatrical trailers in any case...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Something new...

The date for our exhibition is currently in a state of flux and as such, I definitely will NOT release any snippets of my work regarding the exhibition until the opening night has passed...

This is a matter very sensitive to me because any 'leaked' pieces of work will spoil the large build up towards exhibiting our own pieces at a show.

As such, I've decided to try something new...

I've neglected graphic design recently as an artist and I think I have also been neglecting the element of my blog which tries to expose the subliminal elements of art and graphic design.

As such, I will create a new poll for the viewers to vote on a weekly basis for a new trailer, poster or famous advertisement for me to 'deconstruct' graphically and review the power of the subliminal artistic ventures used to seduce your attention.

Please leave some suggestions for me in the comments section below.

The first one to be deconstructed will be the international trailer for the highest rated Marvel movie of Summer 2011 on .

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Fundamentals of Photorealism (Pt. 1)


The aspect of life to acquire such a level of detail and precision to replicate the surroundings on a two-dimensional plane.

This is the path I follow.

With a few tweaks as well.

Traditional photorealism is well, a tad bit... boring when you think of it.
I have always preferred photorealism because of the skill levels exhibited by the artists and I still hold a bias towards these types of pieces because of the artist's skill, paitience and dedication.

The other styles of art are frequently dubbed by some as 'being more creative' than photorealistic pieces.


I have spent most of my time building up my skill and as such, I have been expressing my ideas through other channels; not necessarily traditional art.

Now I have to try to fuel my creative fire with this ammunition.

However, this post is about technique.

Along the continuing road towards achieving photorealism, I have been taught various techniques as well as having developed my own.


This is the key to being able to draw, paint, sculpt or construct anything.

Observation does not mean to 'look' at something.
It means to observe, scrutinize, study the subject in question, collect tactile data, trace the shadows, feel the textures, observe the deflection of light against its surface, watch the angle at which it lies...

It is a deep sensory experience.

Not simply "Arite...ah watch it, wat now?"

It is almost a scientific experience, sampling data from the environment of the object as well, gaining a holistic knowledge of the subject and THEN, only then, can you begin the next phase of rendering a realistic piece of art.

And remember, realism is attained before PHOTO-realism.


This may also fall into the category of observation, but this one is less direct in relation to the object.

Research involves the observation of SIMILAR objects (subjects) and the heavy scrutinization of those as well. Look for every imperfection, every blemish as well as every...single...detail which makes this subject unique and not just part of a collection of mass produced items.

Also, take a look at the work of the masters.

It helps.

Make Google your friend (or Bing or whatever is your favourite search engine).

When looking at the work of other photorealists, you can pick up little hints as to their prime focus in their pieces. When you can see where they put the emphasis into their works, you can also try to translate that into your own pieces.


This 'branch' of art is very time consuming and demands A LOT of paitience if you want the result to look wonderful. Developing an obsession with completing pieces is a must if you want to retain your sanity.

Especially if art is a hobby of yours and not a full time endeavour.

Develop a perfectionist approach.

When you do not accept flaws in your work, you become more dedicated to fixing them in future works and the quality of your artwork begins to improve rapidly.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Digital Art

Using Photoshop has inspired me to explore the realm of digital art, wallpapers and digitally rendered graphic design projects.

Photoshop is no easy software to master, however, the vast quantities of tutorials available out there on the internet, and the learning videos released by organizations such as Lynda and Total Training, make the job quite a bit easier for a rookie like me.

Traditional art is still my main area of expertise.

However, digital takes about one-hundredth of the time to complete.

In my time between the last post and the graphical revamp of the blog (done completely by me in Photoshop), I have created some...interesting pieces of digital art.

Some were created by following tutorials to the digit.

In others, I simply let my imagination and experimentation run free.

Here they are:

Wallpaper attempt 1
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended, Digital Painting 1920 x 1080
A more likable wallpaper attempt (at least to me)
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended, Digital painting 1920 x1080
A radical photo-manipulation of my friend Marc.
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended, Photo-manipulation 1440 x 900

A distant planet being visited by a strange starship.
Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended, Photo-manipulation and Digital painting, 1920 x 1080


Digital art is possibly...more efficient than traditional media, but I personally think that it is not as valuable as traditional art because of the ease of it.

Going digital is absolutely perfect for the graphic designer.

With digital (especially with a tablet) you can achieve the most impeccably smooth gradient effects and lighting simulations.

Most importantly, with digital, you can step backwards and tweak your designs.

Unfortunately in traditional media, you must either start over or cut out and redo your wrongs.

There is a fine line between what you can achieve in traditional and digital media.
The difference is the ease of accomplishing these tasks.

I suppose that's why traditional sells for so much more than digital.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Playing with Photoshop

Graphic design is an interesting venture in terms of the factors necessary for grabbing the visual interests of the viewers while keeping the transmitter active to broadcast the necessary message to the specific viewer.

By definition, graphic design is the process of applying visual art and communication skills to create a medium in which a specific message can be conveyed to the specific target audience this message was meant for. It's all about presentation and clarity.

I personally have an extreme fondness for working in traditional media such as pencil or pen for undertaking these graphic design challenges, but recently, I have tried and succeeded in using digital media. 

Namely, Adobe Photoshop CS4.

However, don't get fooled, I haven't come anywhere near to doing what the professionals can do with this software suite (using Adobe Illustrator along with Photoshop).

But at least I'm trying some text effects.

I must say however, that the tutorials at PsdTuts are a colossal help to learning how to achieve some of these effects. The rest lies in personal touches and judgement by visual appeal.

A nice little design with a subtle indication of the value my form class will be to Hillview in Form 5.

Experimentation for creating an effect of fluid within glass.
My very own experiment (observation, not tutorial) for making TRON effects text.

A grungy, gritty, urban sticker.

Playing with effects, layer masks, expanding my brush collection, expanding my font database and many other ways of toying around with this magnificent program is the way to achieving true design inspiration.

Of course, first you need to learn HOW to use the software.

I am still going through that journey, and it is indeed a long, winding road.

I STILL cannot do anything magnificent with PICTURES!!!

I use another, simpler program to accomplish that task, but they are indeed small edits. Nothing much to be raving about.

This vacation will be the perfect time for me to isolate myself from my normal interactions and truly develop the skills needed to take myself to the next level.

Both in terms of artistic development and academics.

CXC is next year >.<

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Classified Data

The following information is highly classified:

I can be charged for showing these to you.
But that is my decision.

My fate.

In November of this current year, 2011, there will be an event.

In November of this year, there will be a revelation.

In November of this year, there will be SECRETS.

The Visual Arts students of Form 4-5 Hillview College will be holding an exhibition entitled Secrets at the main building of our campus.

The exhibition will be held from the 15th to the 18th November 2011.

Hillview College is located at the corner of El Dorado and College Roads, Tunapuna, Trinidad.

In case you are not familiar with the area, when heading either Eastbound or Westbound on the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway, you will encounter the Macoya intersection (the one where you can see the pretty large Trini flag at FireOne's headquarters).

Turn off of the highway into Macoya Road and simply travel along that Northbound Road all the way to the top (you have to cross the bus route and the Eastern Main Road as well).

While driving up to the top, Hillview College's campus is pretty hard to miss.

The first thing you'll see is a maroon gate and if you look closely, you shall see the college insignia and the words "Hillview College" on the gate in gold.

Please view our website

The artists will be there, but try not to interrogate us please :)

Viewing will be possible between  8:10a.m. and 2:30p.m.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I have just completed five of my end of year exams and I don't feel good.

Technical Drawing was a relief (only I completed the exam).
English A was fine...
Geography was actually very nice :)
But Add Maths and Physics...

Well, next week I have my presentations to do and I have quite a few more exams papers to do i.e. Paper 1 & Paper 2 for a lot of subjects.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Stresses of Academic Life

If only movies like The Matrix or Inception could bring their highly advanced learning technologies into the realm of everyday life on the third rock from the sun, things would be alot easier.

I could just download the updates into my brain or I could drop into a dream state and continuously recall the newly learnt information until it became laser etched into the back of my cerebral cortex. Then, long term memory would just take over and I would have absolutely no problem with remembering ANYTHING.

Unfortuately, they are still Science......FICTION.


As this monologue suggests very heavily, End of Year examinations are upon my poor soul.

In fact they start next week Tuesday.



The most hated examination science subject due to the high quantity of formulae, equations, graphs, energy diagrams, derived units, SI units, calcula......

As well as its Dominion over the other Sciences.


I think right now, I'm probably feeling worse than Ai Weiwei.

Ai Weiwei.
In case you are unfamiliar with this Chinese artist, I can either refer you to the geniuses at, or I can give you a little lesson myself.

Ai Weiwei is a very CONTROVERSIAL artist in China because, unlike many others in his country, he aint afraid to stand up to the Government and show his discontent with their bold decisions which change the course of the lives of every citizen and resident of the Republic of China.

'Ai Weiwei (born 18 May 1957) is a Chinese artist and activist, who is also active in architecture, curating, photography, film, and social and cultural criticism. Ai collaborated with Swiss architects as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics.

In addition to his art work he has investigated government corruption and cover-ups, especially the alleged corruption scandal during the construction of the Sichuan schools that collapsed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. He uses the internet to communicate with people all over China, especially the young.

On 3 April 2011 police detained him at Beijing airport and still have not filed any official charges. His studio in the capital was sealed off, and his staff interrogated pursuant to allegations of "economic crimes". On 20 April Ai was appointed Visiting Professor of the Berlin University of the Arts.'
From Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia

Snake Ceiling was created from school back-packs - the same brand as those used by children killed in the Sichuan Earthquake.
The earthquake occurred in August 2008, killing thousands of schoolchildren.

So his life is quite a disaster at the moment, but I think I can speak for ALL academics out there by saying:

'We've got some problems of our own. No matter how amazing he is as a thinker.'

So wish me luck in these horrible exams and I wish Ai Weiwei luck in his attempts to expose corruption without being victimized by those in authority.

Adios mis amigos y amigas


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