Music and the Muse

Music and the Muse is currently on display at Avanti Art & Design in Seattle. This show, about artwork inspired by music, gives me an opportunity to show some new digital collages. The collages on display are comprised almost entirely of travel photographs I’ve taken, especially on road trips. And music is an essential part of any road trip!

I collage elements of different photos together in one image, creating a new world from bits of other ones. What was once real-life buttressing on the roof of a pagoda becomes, when cut and rotated, a series of steps for a figure to walk on. Decorative elements from that same roof become not only fantastical leaves in a treetop, but waves in a flood.

I think my recent move from New York to Seattle is playing a part in my desire to create these familiar-yet-outlandish worlds. The elements are recognizable–cars, figures, mailboxes–but they exist in strange relation to each other. They’re a little bit “off”. This is the way I feel in my new environment; I don’t quite know where to go or how to get there and am still feeling my way around this strange new world.

Adding to my current sense of geographic displacement is an emotional one, where my marriage to my wife can be erased in an instant by crossing state lines. As we drove west across the country during our move, we became single again many times in the eyes of the law. This jarring reality is balanced by increasing acceptance from many quarters, and the works fittingly vary between tension and whimsy.

I’m very happy to have a prominent wall facing out of the gallery’s front window, and to have made a sale at the opening reception. Seattle continues to be good to me, and I’m thrilled to keep meeting interested artists and art lovers here.

The exhibition will be on display until September 3–come on by!