The fine link between Jazz and Fine arts- is the creative liberty. Devoid of theory- but that comes with passion, time, and rehearsal. Exhibition ‘Jazz in Art’ at The Bishop (on Bredford) signifies and embarks on this fine link. The abstractness in delicate art, as well as in standard jazz is a common gulf- therefore, there was a lot of room both for artists and musicians to investigate this fizzled fine line.
I as a musician and writer (besides being an art lover) pulled on a lot of strings as I sifted and surfed through the art pieces defining jazz under the radar of artistic applause. I could clearly witness the past, present, and future of jazz living through the times in fine arts. How various artworks were curated, compiled and put together to compose this unique insignia from various eras- is rather fascinating.
Iconography, technique, roots, stylization and colorfulness was all inhibited and embedded in each of the frame hanging out of the walls. It was like a timeline of Jazz and how it flourished in the sanctity of colors whether it was a poster, portrait or invitation to a jazz show. It was quite astonishing how the artists viewed jazz and thereby interpreted it in various art forms on a variety of media, colors and techniques.
My favorite was also the central presentation of the exhibition- Dick Griffin, the legendary Jazz trombonist, and painter. His paintings are aggressive, experimental and rather abstract like a jazz walk or an open improvisational jazz session. You could hear his wind solos in his strokes- the choice of colors and the liberty he gave to the viewer; to decipher his works with hints, shades and tips of what musical element it can envisage is very mindful.
‘Round Midnight in Mississippi’ a painting he drew back in 2012- held back a lot from the local culture and the nightlife that artists enjoy while bar-surfing and binge-drinking. I have lived this life and I could sense its pulse. The symbolic confetti on its canvas gave me the sense of celebration, festivity and musical fiesta that musicians carry and spread around Mississippi throughout the night. Its luring abstractness concealed many secrets and legends that travel circles before, during and after the night is long over.
If you’re a musician and a particularly a Jazz lover- don’t miss it. If you’re progressive, don’t miss it too- because this is not something you encounter every now and then. That’s why you have every reason to grace this exhibition and embrace this opportunity.
The Jazz In Art at The Bishop Gallery
On view from: April 8 – April 29, 2016
Writing by Atif A. K.
Photographs by Luis Chimbo