The Daily Artist: "Brushstrokes of Nostalgia: Painting Pop Culture and Movie Memories"

The Daily Artist: "Brushstrokes of Nostalgia: Painting Pop Culture and Movie Memories"

Growing up, my family was not quick to have a VCR. We were not a cable household either. So, when our time to finally have a VCR came, and I realized that we could watch a movie without commercials—it was mind-blowing.

I must have been so annoying to my parents with my enthusiasm and persistent desire to rent films immediately. The corner Stop n Go convenience store had them for rent. I must have been six or seven and ran laps around my parents with my tons of energy. I don’t think much has changed when I think about it.

Case is, we get there, and I shoved a movie into their hands. Police Academy 2 (they didn’t have part 1). I’d seen commercials. I knew it was not PG, but I hoodwinked my parents into renting it. We watched it. A nice, cozy family night.

My parents were dismayed at my choice in movie, and they were not quiet to me about it. During their verbal chastisement of me, however, Lt. Harris is walking around the scene with his hands epoxied to his head and my parents couldn’t stop laughing.

It’s one of the many things I like about pop art and popular culture. They are markers in time. Sometimes absurd, but for me—usually warm. I like the idea that many people experience the same things in different ways and that it connects many of us together in that way.

Occasionally, I’m asked what possessed me to paint a certain pop culture figure, and somewhere in that connection lies that answer. If it made me happy, it probably made someone else happy as well. And I’m definitely all for that energy.

The suggestion for this series came from my dear, childhood friend Esteban. As I always say, if you have suggestions for things I should paint—bring 'em! And let's keep those nostalgic Stop n Go memories alive!

-Sergio Santos