Friday, November 7, 2008

What the Pictures Sound Like

So where do the ideas come from? It depends, but most times I try to work intuitively within a predetermined set of guidelines (specific materials, display format, size, etc.). Afterwards I may notice some connection between a finished piece and something I may have recently read, seen, or listened to. For this post I'd like to give two examples of the latter.

Planet of Sound. 2006.
collage, pastel, gouache, ink, and gesso on paper, mounted on glass.
8-1/4 x 7-1/2 in. (framed)

This piece sat around half-finished (the bottom half) for several months - the mirrored solid shape at the bottom center was clipped from an old geometry textbook, the form of which reminded me of an example of brutalist architecture. The piece was finally resolved when I paired the bottom half with a leftover scap from another collage for the top half. The boxy form at the top again reminded me of architecture, but with rays or beams entering (or exiting?) from a hole in the roof. Once the piece was finished I knew the title would be Planet of Sound, after the UFO-inspired song by the Pixies from their 1991 album Trompe le Monde:

Next up is a more recent piece:

Inca Dinka Doo. 2008.
collage, ink, gesso, pencil, and shellac on paper, mounted on glass.
8-1/4 x 7-1/2 in. (framed)

This collage is a jigsaw of leftover scraps from other projects. The trick is to both get the pieces to literally fit together (just like a jigsaw puzzle), and to balance everything visually. The completed collage reminded me of a wall of Inca masonry (see photo below), which then lead to the title for the piece, which I cribbed (and bastardized) from the old Jimmy Durante chestnut, Inka Dinka Doo.

Inca stone wall (photo courtesy flickr)

Due to copyright restrictions I couldn't find a video of Durante performing Inka Dinka Doo. However, here's Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Dean Martin performing Inka Dinka Doo as part of a Durante tribute on The Frank Sinatra Timex Show, October 19, 1959 (it's a long clip well worth watching; the song starts at around 2:20):

Finally - just to show how everything's related, here's Jimmy Durante performing In Outer Space (We're Going UFOing):

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