Ronnie Miyashiro is a surrealist painter who has been influenced by Dali and Escher. His “Neiro” series combine that sensibility with a musical focus. (“Neiro” means “melody” in Japanese.) The swirling lines emanating from the instruments of these jazz musicians capture the smooth flow of a master soloist.
The basis of music is the rhythmic foundation on which the melody and harmony ride. It is what gives music motion and it gives rise to dance.
Marc Schimsky’s “Whirling Dancers” captures the music through capturing the dancer’s movement. All of his canvases seem to portray multiple instances of time in one snapshot — reminding us that life is an animated continuum, not a series of separate moments.
One of the reasons music and art are inherently related (after the main reason that they are both human controlled methods of communication capable of expressing ideas and emotions) is that sound waves and lightwaves are both potions of a larger continuum known as the Electro-magnetic Spectrum. Both are made up of vibrations (waves) though we can only perceive small portions of the total spectrum with our eyes and ears. Through the use of modern technology like radios, cell phones, Televisions microwaves, wireless devices, infrared cameras, MRIs, and X-rays, we are able to convert other parts of the spectrum into sound and visible light that we can understand. To see a closeup of a chart of the entire spectrum, CLICK HERE
Multi-media artist David Ellis has created installations of fantastic constructions that “produce analogue sequences in rhythm.” Pictured above is a double bass boombox that contains two tube preamps, assorted high-end woofers and tweeters, a power amp, an equalizer and an ipod. Next up is a rainbow colored construction created out of “20th century album covers.” (Or what I used to call “my record collection” — I’m so old…)
Here’s a look at one of his installations in action…
Possibly the most remarkable painting from Picasso’s “Blue Period” (1901 -1904) is the painting “The Old Guitarist” (1903). The painting depicts a blind beggar with his guitar and is known to have been modeled after a blind artist that Picasso knew in Madrid. Picasso’s “Blue” and subsequent “Rose” periods were predecessors to his cubist innovations — and to more memorable music related paintings.
Austrian artist Mira Aleksandra Stefanov is world renown for her dramatic paintings of the sea, but she also applies her style to capturing the drama of music. It is particularly well-suited to depicting the impressionistic musical colors of composer Claude Debussy. Speaking of her sea paintings, they in turn served as an inspiration for contemporary composer Robert Pobitschka’s work “The Sea Paintings of Mira Aleksandra Stefanov.”
New Orleans native Alan Flattmann is a pastel Society of America Hall of Fame Honoree who captures the architecture and life of the French Quarter with a romantic flare and a master’s touch. His paintings of famous Quarter landmarks slicked with rain align perfectly with my memories of a soggy holiday taken in the city a few years back.
In addition to his painting, Flattmann conducts a number of artist’s workshops around the country and internationally each year. He has published many of his New Orleans paintings in a volume called “Alan Flattmann’s French Quarter Impressions.” To see more of his works and to purchase giclee prints visit http://www.alanflattmann.com/prints.htm
If Rock music is neon colored pop art and jazz is boldly colored expressionism, then classical is more like realism or impressionism. The mixing of these two painting styles is what makes September McGee’s work so widely acclaimed and collected. It is also what makes her Pacific Symphony Collection such an appropriate centerpiece in her body of work. McGee’s pastel paintings combine assertive color choices with charming line drawing to capture the refined energy of the classical musicians depicted. To see more of her work and to purchase prints visit http://www.septembermcgee.com
A Great Day in Harlem is a now famous 1958 black and white group portrait of 57 jazz musicians photographed by Art Kane on a street in Harlem, New York City in the summer of 1958. The lineup of musicians is astounding and includes Mingus, Monk, Lester Young, Dizzy and an astounding gathering of iconic jazz legends. (Complete list here, Authorized poster available here)
The story behind the photo was turned into a 1994 documentary film by Jean Bach which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1995.
Sculptor Jean Shin is known for her usage of common items (Lottery tickets, pill bottles, worn out shoes, computer keyboard keys) to construct her installations. In this whimsical piece, she has melted 78 rpm records into the shape of a wave. In addition to the visual pun, the resulting sculpture is a comment on the wave-like nature of audio technologies, the 78 was swept away by the 33 rpm mono records which were swept away by 33 rpm stereo records, which were supplanted by tapes, which gave way to CDs, which are now passe’ thanks to the ipod.
Here is a an interview with Shin discussing a piece she created for the Smithsonian Art Museum in 2009…