Wednesday, January 16, 2013

'Piano Man' Project

I've not posted anything for a while, because I was invited to participate in a 'piano man' project, which has taken some time to complete.

It's a really funky art project idea developed by Ken Arthur,  a local artist, who selects other artists to work with specific pieces to create individual examples for him to display in various art exhibits around the country.

Ken creates a 'piano man' with parts captured from junk pianos.  Pieces from two standard pianos and one baby grand are required to make a single piano man, but there are obviously numerous little creatures to be made from the many pieces in each of the pianos.  Ken assembles the captured parts  in a manner that resembles a human anatomy (take a look at the raw example in the pic below), and then the fun begins.  The only requirement for the project is that the 'piano man' be kept intact, but it can be arranged in any creative manner or theme to fit inside a shadow box approximately 4" x 10" x 16".

Each artist is provided with two separate 'men' and boxes, from which Ken selects one for his traveling show, and the artist keeps the other . . . that's the only stipulation for participation.

I chose to create a 'Bluesman' (ala Ground Zero Blues Club featuring James 'Super Chikan' Johnson, who regularly plays at the club) for one of my projects, and the other is a 'Newsie' (late 1800s newspaper delivery boy).  Ken hasn't had the opportunity to make his selection yet, so it remains to be determined which will make the art exhibit . . . maybe both, if I decide to let him have each of them . . .

Project start



Photo Collage 

The 'Bluesman' is a collage of photos I took at the the club, and a collection of other photos gathered along the way in the creation of the project.  Many of the photos are laminated on thin wood and cut to give the effect of the real deal in miniature.  The red guitar is hand carved to reflect the style with which 'Super Chikan' creates the guitars he plays on the road and in the club.

The 'Newsie' box is decorated with articles torn from a 1936 newspaper, which I sacrificed for this project, and very old photos of early 1900s 'newsies' on the streets of New York, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, and other cities.

Now, it's time to get back in the shop to turn out guitars for a mid-March annual gala at the Woodland Cigar store in Delaware.

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