Bloom by Cuong “Mike” Tran
Medium: Acrylic on Black Canvas Paper
Size: 9″ x 12″
Artist bio: Greetings friends! I’m Cuong Mike Tran, a self-taught artist incarcerated in California. I hope my art helps to change the negative perceptions and stigmas associated with incarcerated people. Noone is born a thief or murderer. Don’t ask ‘what’s wrong with you’, but rather, ‘what happened to you?’ How do you reconcile beauty with deviance? Or introspection with violence? Is the work any less glamorous when we see it through the eyes of a “monster”? In a free world, the riot shields block _________, the gas masks filter out _______, and the pepper spray makes people cry tears of ________.
Artist statement: There is a quiet power in a glowing chunk of molten metal. Take away all the noise in a forge, and you’re left with the visual impact.
Image description: A painting of a welder in a forge holding a piece of molten metal above the heat with a welding tool. The welder is fully covered and dressed in neutral tones – a welding helmet, jacket, boots, gloves, and safety glasses. The only illumination is coming from the molten metal – it glows brighter than anything else in the image.