A lady with horns clutches a pillow and cries, but instead of tears, flowers flow from her eyes. Across the image, text that reads “Sorry, I’m recovering from self-sabotage” is superimposed in sign-painting style. In a separate piece, a girl holding a cat casually smokes a cigarette as half of her body melts away. Overlaid across her is text that simply reads “Hell Here.” These eye-catching images are the work of Raizel Go, a Filipina illustrator and painter who combines a pop-art aesthetic with horror influences and an healthy helping of sarcasm.
Despite growing up in Manila, Go draws plenty of inspiration from Western art, whether it be skateboard art by Jim Phillips of Santa Cruz fame or the aesthetics of traditional American tattoo pin-up girls. The influence that these disparate styles has on her are evident throughout her artwork today.
一位头上长着恶魔角的女子抱枕啜泣，鲜花化作泪水从双眼流淌而出。画面上，一行手工招牌绘写风格文字格外醒目：“Sorry, I’m recovering from self-sabotage”（抱歉，我正从自我毁灭中慢慢恢复）。另一幅作品中，怀里抱猫的女子正吞云吐雾，只见她侧半边身体已被腐蚀，“Hell Here”（地狱在此）的字样掠过整幅画面。这些作品均出自菲律宾插画家和画家 Raizel Go 的手笔，她的作品往往糅合波普与恐怖片元素，某种难以言传的讽刺之意恰如其分地融入进作品中。
Raizel 在马尼拉长大，但青少年时期的她便深受西方文化的影响。譬如艺术家 Jim Phillips 为 Santa Cruz 设计的滑板艺术，以及传统美国纹身艺术中出现的性感女郎图案。从她现在的作品中，你仍然可以清晰看到这些不同艺术风格的痕迹。
For a decade, Go worked in advertising, pushing her personal creative desires to the side. When the pandemic hit, she thought she would have more time for art since she was working from home, but the line between work and life blurred as it did for so many, and she ended up logging even more hours for her ad firm. “I got really burnt out and wasn’t in my best mental state,” she says. “I had no time to draw or paint. It was like I was wasting my time doing things I don’t really like, and I wasn’t getting any younger.”
The frustration reached a boiling point, and she decided to leave her job and focus on her personal work. To make ends meet, she also takes on freelance illustration and graphic designer gigs, and the liberty this decision has afforded her has allowed her art to flourish.
The progress in Go’s work was immediate. She still works with the same motifs as years past, one defined by strong female figures, pop culture references, and a touch of horror. But her art is now much more detailed and consistent. She’s also honed in on a stylistic direction of her own, with works that are difficult to differentiate whether it’s digital or painted by hand.
而 Raizel 在创作的进步上也立竿见影。她延续过去一贯的创作风格：抢眼醒目的女性形象、流行文化以及恐怖片氛围，这些元素都在她的作品中愈发显眼。她承认，相比以前，现在的作品风格会更细致、更连贯。除此之外，她个人独有的艺术风格也进一步显现，让观众难以区分作品究竟是手绘还是电脑绘图。
Go doesn’t flinch when dealing with tense subject matter, frequently referencing alcohol abuse, mental health issues, and a deep misanthropy. These heavy themes are counterbalanced through her use of bright colors and incorporation of humor and self-deprecating sarcasm. Go sees these works as a way to express herself to the fullest extent, outlets for her to make peace with bad memories or negative emotions that’ve stuck with her throughout the years. Each canvas is a place where her inner demons can be exorcized to and remade into something less haunting. “I filter everything through my art now, it’s a better way to deal with certain realities of everyday life,” she says. “I still have inner demons that I battle every day, but I try to channel it into a more proactive approach, which all goes into my work.”
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Contributor: Mike Steyels
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
供稿人: Mike Steyels
英译中: Olivia Li