TUPAC - THUG'S ANGEL: I’m not really a big Tupac fan. Although I like his earlier work where he was talking about actual racial, social and political issues, once he left prison and signed with Death Row, the whole "thugged out" image was just a little too contrived for my taste. However, from an artistic perspective he makes for a great subject with all of the urban mythology that has grown up around him since his death.

There was the name change, the lyrical dichotomy that had him rapping some of the most vile and offensive comments about women on one song, then praising their strength on the next, and similarly his rhyming about being a gangster and then asking questions about the afterlife for thugs.

It was this spiritual element, sprinkled throughout his later and posthumous releases, and the release of the documentary "Thug Angel: The Life of an Outlaw," that led to the creation of this piece. Initially I thought "Thug Angel" was one of the more ignorant titles I’d come across. After viewing the documentary, I wondered what the visual of a thug angel would be.

So I went to work on this piece.

The first thing was to create the image of the angel which was going to be modeled after a Black man. I mean, was Pac gonna have some chubby little white girl with lily white wings watching over him? I spent about a week working on just the angel. I think the time was well spent because it eventually took on this radiantly spiritual glow.

I also wanted to surround the central image of Pac and the angel with other images that showed his conflicting personas: The Westside Rider, the introspective Pac, the happy Pac, the crazy Pac, and the peaceful Pac, and a representation of the last image of Pac before his murder.

I also added in a quote from his debut album (and my favorite), 2Pacalypse Now: One by one we are being wiped off the face of this earth at an extremely alarming rate. And even more alarming is the fact that we are not fighting back.