"The Great Wave Off Hokusai" by Hunter Madsen

"The Great Wave Off Hokusai"

 
TITLE - "The Great Wave Off Hokusai"
WHERE - Dead bush in vacant lot, El Cajon, California (2016) and shopping mall walkway after rainfall, San Diego, California (2015).

I was drawn to each of these images for their distant resonance with Hokusai's celebrated ocean archetype, "The Great Wave Off Kanagawa." The diptych pairs and titles the images so as to alienate each from its ordinary context and unite them as something else entirely. The diptych bows to the iconic woodblock designs of Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). This work is intended, first, to give one a momentary, fresh frisson of the original sea-splash that Hokusai actually experienced some two centuries ago and sought to portray; and, then, a sense of that event's - as well as the woodblock's - utter remoteness to us now, separated forever from us by a vast ocean of time, and surviving into the present day only as a striking visual idea, the epitome of water in motion.