I don’t usually like to explain what the meaning of the work I put out means, but with these pictures that I’ve released however, a lot of people have asked me “why are you covering the faces? what is up with the balaclavas?” and I really was trying to put out a message. Most of these photographs were taken in the “paradise” known as Boracay during my stay in the Philippines. Wearing these threatening masks in what’s seen to be a peaceful place points out that things aren’t always as they seem and there’s something deeper and that we should always be aware of what is happening in our world.The Voyeur T-shirt
In this image, the jewellery is made from bone and stones by the people of Boracay. In no way am I trying to put down Boracay (I do love the place) but it is an example of how people see a oportunity to earn money and they do whatever it takes to get it. Boracay used to be a natural paradise, though I was very young, in the 90s I remember there were no buildings, just nipa huts and if you wanted to walk around at night, you needed a lamp. Nowadays it is a major tourist attraction and there are hundreds of shops, restaurants, street lights, hotels and clubs near the beach front, polluting the beach and ruining its natural beauty. Nowadays, people have realised the damage that has been caused and are trying to find ways to preserve its appearance but it is a little too late. This image represents the anger I personally feel towards the treatment of beautiful natural locations that have been sabotaged. There are other ways of making a business in such places without having to damage the environment.
In this photo, the T-shirt design has three women (my own version of the three wise monkeys, See, hear and speak no evil) with feathers spreading across the body of the shirt. This represents freedom, the feathers and wing like shapes band together to show strength, together it shows the strength one gives themselves to go against the negative influences of society. A strength I feel the people who fight for a cause, despite what people in power might say. This was photographed in Kalibo Bakhawan which is an eco park and Mangrove forest. In the 1990s, the Kalibo Save the Mangrove Association took over what looked like a wasteland and it involved people, educating them about the environment. They transformed the wasteland by getting people to plant trees during their visit, to this day, you can see the growth and the beauty and how it has become a new home for many creatures.I’ll be doing an art piece (and hopefully a video) inspired by my visit at Bakhawan!
This image represents the corruption of individuals after a taste of wealth and luxury is given to them. The T-shirt design reveals a regal mirror design, inspired by a Mirror I saw in the Victoria and Albert museum designed by a man named Robert Adam made in 1770-1771. When I saw it, it just looked so rich and lavish and I tried to express this in my own design. I decided that the mirror would be black and would retain the rough pen sketch marks I did while darkening the mirror, to symbolise complexity and darkness. The model poses in a provocative and narcissistic way. The balaclava allows her head to almost merge into the dark background to suit with the theme of self and indulgence.
To purchase these T-shirts visit the Mikey Espinosa Shop!