In June 2014 over Father’s Day weekend I participated along other Artist Members of ConArtist Collective in the Paterson Art Walk.
All of us were given choice in the selection of pieces to show. Since the Paterson Art Factory is made up of many buildings and is an old mill converted into art studios, the square footage is huge…I mean, the dreamy kind of large any artist could wish for! If ever you have the opportunity, visiting the Art Factory will prove an adventure in itself.
The one piece I really wanted to stand out is a Subwoofer I’d painted on all four sides and the top. It’s been in the family for quite awhile and is still kicking out a mean bass! That little sound box was originally part of a gaming system my nephews and niece first owned and shared with my children whenever they got down to battle in digital mode. The title and theme I used for promotional aspects is: “The #BassBoom Project.” I use the hashtag here as it can be found across many web platforms within social media.
This is a story about more than Art. It’s about life, living with love for one another and ourselves…and the after life commonly perceived as Spirit.
My artistic vision for this piece rose from a spontaneous inspirational sketch I’d made a few months prior to the actual painting. The original would be fit onto one panel, setting a theme for the rest as a story might unfold. Oftentimes I draw or paint that way, without much thought until a few lines, colors, shapes appear. Once this drawing began, I knew where it came from and where it could go.
The tangerine in its enormity, represents abundance. The man about to eat it represents my father. He had lost some physical aspects we often take for granted, after having suffered a stroke. He lived about a year and a half afterwards, re-learning what his ailments allowed so that he could regain some of that which was lost.
Two of the things my Dad truly enjoyed were cooking and eating. Anyone who knew him recognized he was an amazing cook. Talk about a true foodie! A very cultured person who was fortunate enough to find the arts a way of being, he also embraced a rich passion for music and dance. The reason I chose this drawing first for the #BassBoomProject relates to those passions. These are some I inherited gladly since childhood. When I started to sketch it out, it was a tangerine and its web of fibers which I was inspired to portray. Of course, I couldn’t leave it at that. I love people and all of our uniqueness. Figurative representations of humanity and nature will often be found in my work. So, I drew out this strong man sitting primitively on a ground somewhere among the wilderness-enveloped in his preparedness to feed. Only then did I see my Dad in that figure and knew it was a happy place where spirits roam free. This is where a connection came to mind between the equipment and what I might place upon it artistically to create a unique piece out of many. Having worked hard all his life to help support his immediate family then the one he formed with my Mom, his physique was hard as rock. Even as he aged, his muscularity was impressive as compared to many younger people. Hence, the healthy looking figure in my picture. I suppose my deep appreciation for loved ones shows through like many artists do when creating. From where I sit, I smile recalling how these little details show without expecting them.
The (subwoofer) equipment itself carries a deep rhythmic sound which travels through any surface and surrounding structures, such as walls. My father’s voice was just as powerful and commanding. So much so, I believe and hope I’ll never forget it. His was a deep bass baritone which afforded a superlative singing voice. Tango is the genre he enjoyed most, Carlos Gardel his most cherished vocalist of the genre. Although he was born at the height of the depression when school rarely extended beyond the first few elementary years, his strength to overcome adversity motivated him to learn what he could at home, on the streets while working and in his many travels within our native island of Cuba. My Dad enjoyed a full life of love along with the usual ups and downs. He never did use his voice professionally, yet he was a master chef among greats during the height of Cuba’s richness preceding the Castro revolution. I could go on about that, but that subject doesn’t belong in my blog. With regard to my dear Dad and the rest of my beloved family, that’s one long story I might soon continue. For now, I leave you with some WIPs and finished panels I have on this, the #BassBoomProject. Scroll for the images below.
*I’ll be adding the rest of the images and story behind each piece as time permits.
Until next time, be well…love deeply, fully and free! But never stop yourself from telling someone you love them. Believe me when I say: anytime is the right time for that.