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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How Dare I?

Nick Drake

Paint on a Nick Drake record? Am I nuts? Well, it is a reissue, but still! It's my one reservation about what I do, rendering records unplayable, at least on one side. Especially when it's music I love. So how do I justify it? How can I say I love vinyl so much that I ruin it?

Well, I can buy another one on eBay for $25 since it's a reissue. But, more importantly, I like what I create. I'm repurposing something mass produced into a unique piece of art directly celebrating the original art of the album. To make the record collectors out there gasp, after all it is just a record. It's not like I'm depriving the world of Nick Drake's wonderfully wispy voice. Also, there's something cool about using a physical representation of the actual music, the record, to pay hommage to the creator of said music with another physical representation, the portrait.

This past week I've been prompted to rethink the idea of reproducing my work. Sort of paying hommage to my own creation? Seems egotistical a little. I'm still not 100% sure. I'm opening up to the idea of editions of prints limited in scope and number, on something other than vinyl, by a very reputable outfit. I wouldn't want it done on records. I know that. Not on random records, blank records, or records by the subject of the painting. Maybe on wood panel or metal? How would that even look, a record with grooves printed flat?

It would open up the possibilities for more sales, more quickly. But both of those aren't really my end goal though. My goal is to make individual meaningful connections that give people a way to share their music, their culture. More more more, faster faster faster isn't my style. Hmm, in the right context maybe, so it's different sales, with rigorous quality?

I'm just not sure. What do you think? Is it selling out in the short term or smart business in the long term? I'd really appreciate help here!


SOLD - Nick Drake 01/13/09


Carl Morris said...

As a record fan it took me time to get accustomed to your idea! It goes against my instinct to interfere with records. But I like what you're doing.

When you say "it's just a record" it reminds me that you're doing a kind of homage but at the same time not being over-precious or reverent.

You're also creating an valued artefact out of something which (to some) is disposable.

Nick Drake belongs to the people. Technically his music is owned by Universal records and his image by his estate or heirs. But in another sense, his music and image are in the public domain.

Mash-ups and re-adaptations are the way of this world.

You could ask Malcolm McLaren what he thinks, I'm sure he'd have plenty to say!

d.edlen said...

via Email - "Being in the art business as well as being a total music loving freak I have conflicting ideas about your idea to issue reproductions of your vinyl art.Although it may lead to more sales[and I am not so sure that it would] I believe that to take what is a tangible musically influenced piece of original art from your soul and re-create it with machinery would ruin it.I think that the prices that you charge for your original art is beyond reasonable. Even people with limited budgets spend far more than $175 on soul-less meaningless crap every day. Your art has the potential to inspire and influence people in a positive way for relatively infinitum.Even if I stood to benefit financially from a decision to reproduce your paintings, I would only discourage you from doing so.For what it's worth...


The pure artist in me agrees. Thank you for noting the affordability of my work. Since my goal is to connect with as many people as possible, I want to keep the price reasonable. $175 framed, $100 unframed is, you're right.

The reason I'm considering it is the possibility of expanding the reach of my art, my idea. As long as it's high quality and cool, I think it could enhance the potential. Bigger, different audience. Bigger, different media.

I don't know yet. I really appreciate the comment.

m said...

Do you have to paint on records only? Why not paint on canvas etc as well and make prints of those if you wish. Your talent, skill, and passion for art and music and your subject will come across just as effectively in my opinion. The record thing is cool but as an artist you have no real reason not to expand your repetoire and see where that takes you, do you?

(Just my opinion based on my own experience and what I see of your work. But since you don't say why you feel compelled to paint only on records I don't have the whole picture to go on.)