“Art is how we decorate space. Music is how we decorate time.”
– Jean-Michel Basquiat.
This mixed-media composition takes classical elements of music, and combines them with art in a decadent, delicious “feast for the eyes”.
The piano-glossy notes, the authentic violin bows and an actual violin, the laser-cut butterflies, the preserved roses – each element brings a different sensation and a different meaning.
Themes of rebirth and remembrance permeate this piece. The old violin is reborn with bursts of flowers, the old bows have found a new life supporting musical notes, the flowers are real preserved roses.
Check out the photos and the in-depth description below, with more analytical and technical details.
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Mixed-media assemblage. Oil on panel, preserved flowers, recovered objects, artificial objects. Tammy Carmona, 2021.
There are those who claim “everything in art is already done, and overdone, and there’s nothing original left”. But that’s simply not true. The complexity of the human experience is infinite, and there will always be new art movements, conceptualizations, and approaches.
Every artist’s expression is unique, and the time to express oneself is always now. Whether executed in technologically sophisticated cutting-edge media, or time-tested classics like oil on canvas, art is eternal.
Jean-Michel Basquiat famously said, “Art is how we decorate space; music is how we decorate time”. But art is more than a decoration for a space, it’s a decoration for the soul. It’s a connection between the artist and the viewer, it’s an instant of time & concepts captured in media. Art decorates space and time – simultaneously!
Reveling in the complexity of art, this composition draws upon several movements, including Remodernism, Intentism, New Sincerity… and just the right touch of Surrealism. It’s envisioned with classical materials, and features familiar elements – yet it’s imbued with an artistic reimagination of these elements, creating a deliciously decadent visual.
The choice of violin and bows – all authentic instruments recovered from a luthier shop – synthesizes environmentally-conscious Upcycle thinking and the Kintsugi tradition of Japanese culture. Kintsugi traditionally focuses on repairing broken objects with a touch of gold; rather than hiding the repair, it boldly celebrates the break as a part of the object’s history. In this composition, the broken violin is re-cast in a lead role. Just as sounds used to emanate from its body, now flowers emerge. One kind of beauty ends, and another begins.
The flowers are real roses, preserved with a special process that immortalizes every detail – expressing defiance of the passage of time, in an elegant and haunting way. They’re finished with antiqued gold and silver paint, expressing the artist’s quest to capture the beauty of nature and preserve it in her art.
The bows are transformed from being a part of the instrument, to being a part of the structure, becoming the staff lines on which the notes depend. Just like the broken violin, they’re also reborn – even though they’ve become warped with time and lost the string tension, they’re still bringing musical notes to the delight of the audience.
The butterflies symbolize the freedom one’s soul feels when encountering the right melody. Their color is also an homage to the fashion of classical music and opera… black butterfly <> black bowtie <> black fortepiano.
The notes are done in laser-cut glossy black acrylic. The color and texture of the notes material evokes the rich blackness of a grand piano, and the sharpness of the laser-cut edges is an acknowledgment of the mathematical precision inherent in music.
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