"Youthanization" is what I've come to call the phenomenon of attempting to rekindle one's childhood vitality while undergoing the process of maturation. When we are kids, we are not aware of how blissful our innocence and persistent curiosity is. But, perhaps it only seems "blissful" to us now because we idealize our childhood, seeing it through rose-colored glasses because our current realities are more harsh by comparison. The sense of loss for our childhood is a common feeling worldwide, but people initially experience it and cope with it very differently. To give an example, some people attempt to return to some aspect of their childhood that they formerly enjoyed, but instead are met with disappointment and disillusion in their state of maturity.
The highly un-naturalistic neon colors that I use for my under-paintings signify my idealized perception of childhood. Following, the more naturalistic oil colors I paint on top along with the way I apply them represents how we each try to cover up our childhood sensibilities, as expected by society when we reach a certain age. The stylized way I depict some of the figures in the series suggests that parts of one’s mind retains memory in fragments while others idealize or dispose of them, and the different ways that I handle each figure illustrates how each of us come to terms with the loss of innocence differently.
This series, playing in the intersection of hyperreal and surreal, demonstrates the effects of clinging onto unrealistic notions of childhood.