I completed these drawings in the fall of 2008, while I was in the Masters Illustration program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in a class led by Melanie Reim, who is known for her expressive drawing. We were working from a model, who was dressed and posed like a boxer. Our medium was ink and brush. Unexpectedly for me, this session brought out a lot of energy, expressiveness, confidence and looseness. Some of this I believe comes from my early experiences with zen ink painting.
My father is a Korean Zen Master who does calligraphy and ink paintings, and I grew up around his work. Though my parents separated when I was young and I came to the US with my mother, we still had much of his artwork up. I can remember spending a lot of time looking at the big splashes of ink. He referred to Zen as "energy painting."
Rocky is also one of my favorite movies. The best part is when after he runs up to the top of the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, he raises his fists in personal triumph and then proceeds to the Arensberg collection to see Duchamp's Large Glass and then to have a moment of further inspiration with Cy Twombly's Fifty Days at Iliam.