The New York-based, Hawaiian-born artist known as Hula, has created a series of these captivating portraits using his oil paints and a stand-up paddleboard, as his floating studio, to reach the walls which are his canvases. He uses anchors and rope to keep himself steady as he paints.
“I chose the locations because they reminded me of ghost towns needing to breathe life again,” he told The Huffington Post. “[These] figures seemed lost in these structures, almost out of place.”
When you look at his murals, you can see markings in the form of simple stripe patterns on the portrait’s neck, arm or face, inspired by some of Yoro’s older portraits of women with their hands covered in paint and marked with stripes, “like patterns from their fingers dragging,” he said.
“I loved the look, so I combined traditional Hawaiian tribal patterns with the same playful paint-like texture to make tattoos on the figures,” he added. “They represented the unique scars from life we all have and carry with us. I wanted to show how people interact to their scars and, more importantly, the beauty and importance of them.”
Each portrait can take anywhere from a couple of hours to an entire day to complete. He was inspired, he says, by an underwater photoshoot he did where he realized he could fulfill his creativity as an artist while still having fun in the water.
“Thus the idea sparked to paint walls in the water,” he said. “From there, everything else came together beautifully, from the paddleboard to locations.”
He paints them so life-like and insync with the water that from afar, one would think they were real women with their reflections in the water!
Though his portraits will decay over time since he uses oil paints as oppose to the longer-lasting acrylic paints, Yoro doesn’t mind.
“I love the aging process and what nature does to the paintings,” he told Huffington Post. “It feels natural to create these paintings and let them go.”