Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Colescott Soundtrack

I heard someone say Colescott's work is reminiscent of Jacob Lawrence. Here is a Jacob Lawrence owned by the Portland Art Museum,titled Bootleg Whiskey, done in 1943.

In an article I was reading about Sanford Biggers (thank you Barbara) Jacob Lawrence was mentioned again as an influence on the artist.
Jacob Lawrence is one of the most well known African American artists of the 20th century, his influence must be everywhere. The fact that he came up twice in two days speaks to the current wave of change to Portland Art Museum galleries. Biggers is the artist responsible for the installation in the Miller Meigs of the CMCA which opened a few days ago. Blossom, seen here includes a rendition of Billie Holiday's anthem Strange Fruit, playing on a loop in the gallery.

It is a different experience to incorporate sound into the visual arts. I wonder what Colescott would have wanted us to hear as we view his work. It sounds like a lot of laughter, sighs, and breaths of surprise. The lobby soundtrack, as well as the work, makes me smile a little more each time I see it. Maybe that is what he wanted, to make us look at things that are initially uncomfortable until we have seen it enough that we can appreciate something about it, that we may even grow to like it.


LaValle said...

This is one of the pieces of music that Colescott listened to while painting "Homage to Delacroix: Liberty Leading the People". Colescott was a played the drums before he went into the service.

LaValle said...

Well that should have read "Colescott played the drums..." Yikes!