How do you paint sound? How do you "see" music? How do you capture something that takes time, a musical piece, in a single image...or can it even be done? The connections between music and art fascinate me. Music is crucial to my life as an artist; it inspires me, it moves me, it complements every aspect of my creativity. To give you an idea, the position of my stereo and CD collection in my studio is more important than where I paint (of course, where I paint has to have plenty of room to hit those big air guitar windmills).
Luminous Horizon Digital/Aluminum
In this piece I was exploring musical concepts such as rhythm, repetition, linear progression and the waveforms of sound
This is my first "Connections" article on the subject and I would like to explore the language and terminology music and art have in common. Music and art are often called the "sister arts" and there are many ways in which they are inter-related; the commercial aspect of album covers and visual marketing, the imagery music inspires, the "Mtv" phenomenon, the language they share, etc.
"Rosetta Signal" Acrylic on Aluminum
(In this piece I was trying to convey the concept of a radio signal from space
...a "cosmic song" and the key to understanding a galactic civilization).
Many artists, particularly in the modern, abstract realm where concepts such as painting music can be considered, have explored this theme or the idea of painting music. They have used color, composition, arrangement of elements, shapes and forms to attempt to capture the "feeling" music inspires in two dimensions. Kandisnky had a lifelong passion for music and explored the idea of painting music in his "Composition" series. He formed a longstanding friendship with the innovative Viennese composer Arnold Schonberg who had amjor influence on his concepts of composition. In fact it was perhaps his deep interest in music theory and its connection with art that led Kandisnky to a more free expression in his work.
Kandinsky Composition VIII
Oil on Canvas 1923 551/8" x 791/8"
I find it fascinating to translate what seem to be such different experiences or senses in an attempt to unite them in some common expression. This comes out very strong in my aluminum work because the physical grinding process is very rhythmic and feels a great deal like "playing" an instrument. I try to incorporate these concepts into each painting in some way, whether it be through, rhythm, composition, tone, texture, etc. I always try to bring some "music" into my art - my hope is that you can "hear" my paintings.
Swann's Lament Digital
(An homage to Led Zeppelin for a friend)
My goal is to be able to paint the way Pete Townsend plays guitar...I'm working on it!
Next week: On Cognitive Dissonance (maybe...not as hard as it sounds...honest)...stay tuned!