These are the words with the music. I am not displaying lyrics, only words. In the early days artworks had a word or two. In time that changed as their number became more common and complicated. That was when a remembrance came to mind.
In my earlier summer job days I worked at my father’s car and truck dealership doing whatever I was told to do. While there I was in awe of the sign painter and his beautiful hand lettering who painted the customers’ truck doors. I thought of him when adding words became increasingly important. Seeing back to his slow motion painting and precision lines influenced my lettering style and personalize my the font style I used. It was as if I was assuming the position as a lettering painter. My artwork word standard became a challenging and time-consuming task. For example, I wanted to make sure all the letters looked similar and had the right width, height and spacing.
It was only recently when I was going to fill entire canvases with words that I came convinced that my precision letters and the time this type of lettering required no longer made sense. My alternative because a looser and more like my natural hand printing style. Besides, I thought after painting all the words, my next step would be to take a pallet knife and scrape parts of them away. I added another reason for my lettering change with this project.
When standing back from the artwork and seeing the words, the thought came to me: I was looking at graffiti. Now, I do not know if that is the right description for graffiti artists certainly are better word craftspeople, and better at using more elaborate fonts. Maybe my wording is more a reflection of the hand printing style used by Jean Michel Basquiat who was not a graffiti artist. All the words in this artwork are in my natural abstract graffiti style, which fits this music filmed in the city and works with the darker background and the scrapping.
The image above is the artwork in a near finished look. This is the first artwork using the technique where the music is held onto the canvas with magnets. When I hung the art pieces to the canvas, to take a photo for an exhibition, I knew the top coat of paint was still sensitive to scratching and could easily be damaged by the pressure of the magnets. Now days later, as the top coat is hardening, I am testing lighter strength magnets with different covers to prove that they are a viable hanging option that can be easily moved and removed.
I have not signed it yet, nor have I built the aluminum frame that enables it to by hung and supports the music. I was in a hurry. I wanted to meet the deadline for a major local show at the Pablo in Confluence Center in Eau Claire. My submission application made it in on the 24th meeting the deadline. My current stand is to not do group exhibitions, especially if there is an entrance fee, but this show is the exception. It is the most important art show in this area and more so I want a one-person show from the Pablo. This is an example of pay to play ($20 entrance fee) and playing to find a way.
I will know by July 30th if this artwork makes it in the Jurored exhibition. I will then build the frame and add the music. The drop off is not till September. Otherwise, it will go to storage, and I will have another reason to hate group exhibitions.
Scott Von Holzen