deconstruction – reconstruction (sheet music)

in 2011, i received a box of sheet music in the mail from a friend. since i don’t read music – and am not exactly excited about “show tunes”, i put the box in my studio and there it sat gathering dust. a few years later i was cleaning out my studio and i re-discovered the sheet music, wondering if it might be time to toss it…but as i was literally walking down my driveway to throw the box into the recycle bin, i had a feeling i should try to work with the material before getting rid of it…

and so, after finishing cleaning up the studio, i sat down with the sheet music to “moon river” – and began to cut it apart and glue it back together. it wasn’t the musical notation that i was interested in, but the images and words, mostly on the cover, but also the tiny lyrics within the musical notation. in a way i thought about it as if i were ‘re-mixing’ the graphic nature of the object.

i should also mention that around that time i became obsessed with the collage work of the comic book artist, jack kirby – which was also connected to a longtime love of the work of wallace berman and jess.

of course, my work from the beginning has always been in conversation with words and objects  – in the earliest paintings, words were painted on the surface and in the most recent works, words are visually absent but used behind the scenes as scores.

in these new works, i tried to create not just visual works, but in some way a series of short poetic texts – framed by graphic images. in some cases, such as “Moon Burn” the word ‘moon’ was part of the song’s title, but the work ‘burn’ was the second half of audrey hepburn’s last name – and what excited me about the material was that i was able to consistently find myself negotiatiating with the source material. what’s great about negotiation is that you don’t get everything you want or expect.

thus, i worked not only with the words, but also images – broken in many cases, yet still maintaining their integrity. in all cases, i tried to let the material suggest moves, and in doing so that can honor the characteristics of my sources rather than hiding them.

each collage is made up of only information contained in a single sheet music score. (most of which were 2-4 pages.