You walk pass a desolate bridge and on a rusted, crumbling wall you see bigger than life figure on the wall, painted in vivid colors and calm expression. Suddenly, that abandoned, decaying wall from an eyesore turns into mysterious ghost town who breathes again.
Sean Yoro, a New York- Based artist, combines the mysterious, eerie beauty of decaying, abandoned buildings with oil paint and hyper-realistic portraits of bathing women to bring life on a cracked, rusted walls.
“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.”
Yoro, born in Oahu, Hawai, loves surfing and uses his stand-up paddle board to reach the walls, and uses anchors and rope to keep himself steady as he paints. The inspiration for these haunting series came from an underwater shoot he did, where he realized that he can simultaneously make art and have 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 paddle board to locations.”
This haunting mural is located along one of the many different pathways found in these old remains. The arched doorway opens up where the figures heart should be, symbolizing the journey into oneself.
“I was inspired by the common phrase ‘Follow Your Heart’. As cliché as it is, the phrase has influenced the paths I’ve taken throughout my life and I realized with all the mistakes I’ve made along the way, the only ones I don’t regret are the ones I stayed true to my passions and listened to my heart.” writes Hula on his website.
After stumbling upon this old sunken ship, Hula was inspired by the way the tide crept in and out daily. This routine either had the boat emerging from or sinking back into the water. This portrait is entitled “Ho’i Mai”, which is literally translated to ‘Come Back’
The hyper-realistic portraits with eerie calm expression are featured with tribal patterns on the women’s neck, arm or face. The tattoos were inspired by some of Yoro’s older portraits, which showed 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.”
Another fascinating thing about these haunting portraits is that they are temporary, because Hula uses oil paint, which means as time passes by the beautiful faces of the ghost portraits will decay over time, but Hula is not bothered by that.
“I love the aging process and what nature does to the paintings,” he told HuffPost. “It feels natural to create these paintings and let them go.”