Face Dances

For Sharon Anderson

I had an acquaintance in Toronto who fancies herself a shutterbug. She walks all around the city snapping photos of whatever catches her eye. She does this on her own, with friends and as part of an informal group.

The city has some vibrant graffiti and murals. Someone had done one of Prince, which she snapped a photo of. Prince as he was in the first flush of mega-stardom, decked out in the white ruffles and purple sequenced jacket. The problem was, it looked almost nothing like Prince. The outfit was correct and served as a visual clue:  “you are looking at Prince”.  Had he had no shirt on (or a different outfit) as occurred in some promo photos and videos, then no one would have had any idea who it was.

A lot of stars, especially artists,  have one or two  images  ingrained in the public’s conscious. This is even more so for musicians of the pre Instagram age.  Record companies, Dj etc all had to have the promotional photos/packs. The publicity photo a pre requisite but not too often updated. Jim Morrison is forever fitting into his leather pants, shirtless or with white pirate shirt, starring back at the camera as he wonders whether it is all worth it, forgetting that Rimbaud gave up poetry to become a white slaver. Jimi Hendrix is caught up in a spider’s web of bandannas and clashing colors as he lights Monterrey Pop on fire. And Prince had the ruffles at the throat and purple sequenced jacket different in color but similar to what Pete Townsend, light years away stylistically from the purple one, wore in the sixties.

So much rock was born out of rebellion, which is why every generation still holds it dear. Lazily resorting to visual shorthand of well known outfits reduces them down to a sort of uniform, very anti-rock (rebellion).

The best art tied in to musicians/artists, they should be recognizable in a different outfit or even just the face.

What makes for an even more worthwhile work is not their recognizably but rather does the work radiate an emotion which in turn makes the viewer feel something. The handicap of doing the visual shorthand of obvious outfit is even with some of the better works, you are freeze drying the emotion(s) to what was offered up in the photo. All photos are the souvenir of a dead thing as the moment has come and gone.

Faces, not necessarily of famous people, have always called to me. To conjure up a face on paper is an important part of what I do. Emotion coming through is the most important facet of what I do.

Here are several faces, done on different types paper. The inherent properties of the papers adding themselves to my voice like spice(s) to a stew.

All are 9×12

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Pocket Pads

I always have a pocket pad on me, more often than not it is my Midori w/ customized paper. I compulsively try different brands and set ups/ style.

I do in general prefer the refillable ones. There is something about having same pad accompany me all over the world and grow increasingly familiar in touch and sight for me.

There are some great non refillable pads out there too. Within my diverse collection of pocket pads they all fall within the 3×5 size range.

One thing I like about mixing thing up pad wise is that although they all are the same size each company’s paper has different properties. My voice remains present but each type of paper adding something of its own property’s to the mix.

It is akin to a musician using different instruments for different types of songs (think for example, Miles Davis or Jimmy Page)

Here are some quick sketches done on pocket pad of company I just discovered.

 

 

City Street Scene

I have the pleasure of providing images for the upcoming Kris Correya movie; 4 Stories & a Funeral. The images will start and close each segment and also appear in the credits.

The movie covers the little known outside of India music scene in Mumbai which is kept alive and evolving by multi generations of passionate enthusiasts.

“City Street Scene” 9×12 colored pencil & Paper

 

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Narrative Sixteen

Lucy had that way of looking both beautiful and tough that let me know that I would not be any good for her. At least not as promised by the end of countless movies.
I was looking for a hanger for my jacket as it deserved better than merely the back of a chair.
She was in the other room. I had said water would be fine but I swore that I heard the pa-pop of a cork being pulled, echoing the cadence too of a thousand French waiters hitting three fingers against puffed out cheeks and pursed lips in acknowledgment of their approval and that they will get on it right away.
Motion creates the illusion of accomplishment. Sharks are over achievers. Something caught the corner of my eye.
I had no idea where the light switch was and so decided to stand still and wait to see if it made its way into the strip of night sky that was spilling in through the ill placed window.

She came in holding two glasses. With a laugh:
“What are you doing?”
The light. A long centipede slowly crawled along the horizon line where floor meets wall.
It was all yellows and oranges with spots of molted black. There was a wet reddish piece of meat in its mouth which is managed to continue to carry.
I shuddered and rapidly slapped both my shoulders in confirmation that nothing was on me.
Lucy too was transfixed.
“I cant believe I used to smoke those things.”

W.Wolfson ’19

 

5×4 Quick sketch

 

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Reel #3

<metallic sound of film spool plinging as projector starts its lopsided spinning>

The screen is taken up by circle in which focus shapes in gray and numbers counting down from ten as clock like hands spin all accompanied by a beeping.

Slurred orchestra of Nino Rota is heard as an office comes into view.There are gilded edged books in green and red leather under glass barrister bookcase glass, a hat rack on which a trilby hangs at a steep angle as to indicate that its positioning an intentional joke. The camera Panning right, a large mahogany desk whose surface in only broken up by a green blotter and big mouthed ashtray in which two dead snake looking matches lay.

Viewed from profile as he looks out the window, a man awkwardly sits on the corner of his desk , one leg extended, foot on the floor while the ankle of other foot digs into its knee.

He turns towards the camera, taking his pipe out of his mouth, putting it in the ashtray:

“Oh hello, i didn’t see you there.”

The rumples in his cardigan are smoothed out. The music turns playful with the flute taking the lead. An image of rabbits or some other smallish animals rolling around in a tangled mass among the grass is conjured.

“Well…”

The music turns ominous but the reel has too much slack and so slurs which only adds to an abstracted danger.

“Notice the nostrils flare and quiver in anticipation of <inaudible>.  Indubitably, the female of the species is the more deadly than that of the male. Even more so for the unwary  for whom pleasure has become more than merely a matter of biology. Notice how the lips part just slightly as if to wordlessly say…”

A white hole appears at center of film getting larger and larger, the edges of  frozen image becoming a mountainous relief map of burnt celluloid before retreating further back to allow more whiteness to appear.  The unpleasant smell of something man made burning.

W.Wolfson’18

 

“Rachel” Watercolor & Cotton Paper  7×10

 

rachael