Stay Calm and Dream On by Tennessee Loveless
ABOUT the 10 x 10 x 10 project:
Tennessee Loveless is a Los Angeles based contemporary pop artist whose bold use of color and pattern evokes an immediate visual impact to the viewer, but also creates a poetic irony when one considers the fact that Loveless has colorblindness—almost complete colorblindness. Despite many obstacles throughout his life and career he has persevered in pursuing his career as an artist. He is driven by his passion for painting people and iconic fictional characters in a way that strikes an emotional and nostalgic connection through the power of the one thing he is blind to.
As a child growing up in Marietta, Georgia, Tennessee watched his peers identify and collect information based on this “invisible force” that people called color. He began to work within two worlds, one that operated within his own vision and perception and the other which he created in his attempts to relate to the rest of the world. This disconnect later ruptured a fascination with the unknown and he began to feverishly occupy his mind with the fundamental understanding of a chromatic world.
Tennessee’s inability to distinguish most hues has never swayed him from creating art. If any thing, his disconnect from this in his early years made him obsessed with the forming of patterns, objects and shapes. He became attracted to the destruction of white space and became captivated with the idea of filling anything lacking in form with pattern. Later in life, he began attaching color to his subjects as he learned in color theory books which hues complimented or contrasted each other appropriately.
He also communicates hue choices through an objective and synesthetic nature. The essence of his work is largely dedicated to the emotional pull and story telling element of color, expression, and pattern, and mostly importantly, the crossing of the senses
Tennessee’s newest project, entitled 10x10x10 (or Ten by Ten by Ten(nessee)) is based off of the classic “Mickey Mouse” face. The concept is to create 100 unique creations based off of one classic Mickey Mouse template. While the face stays the same, the art changes. This project is about a pop art journey, exploring the history of the icon, and finding oneself underneath.
ABOUT Stay Calm and Dream On by Tennessee Loveless in his own words:
Originally this idea came from a popular picture that was circulating the internet (ie: meme) that began to interest the public in both domains of the web and consumer goods. “Keep Calm and Carry On”, which is the original phrase was issued as a poster in August of 1939 during World War II by the “Ministry of Information” in The United Kingdom. There were two others which were ” Freedom Is In Peril, Defend It WIth All Your Might” and “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory”. These three posters were issued to the public to inspire the British people and raise the country’s spirit during the first few weeks of war which were deemed times to demoralize the British population.
Sixty one years later in 2000 the poster was reissued at a shop in Alnwick, Northumberland with medium success, however in 2009 is when the phrase and design had reached epic levels of distribution both through products and internet usage. This spread of the meme was due to the public’s panic in the UK over being in dire straits over the then (and current) global economic dilemma.
This piece, entitled “Stay Calm and Dream On” is a part of the “Around The World” series which represents the United Kingdom. This painting, much like the original concept of the poster, is meant to produce the same effect of comfort and raising of the spirit. In times of great distress, especially to those of artistic integrity and/or thick imaginations, some times all we have are our dreams to turn to, to spark our wills to make a difference. In this instance, Mickey is the face to take us back to our childhood, when we were a young army of dreamers, when we believed we could conquer our troubles, when we believed in ourselves,
…and most of all, .. when we believed we could make a difference in a scary and often troublesome world.