Monday, August 13, 2018

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Friday, August 10, 2018

Thursday, May 24, 2018

An excerpt from an up coming book



(Tutu album cover image © by The Miles Davis Estate, Warner Bros Records & the photographer Irving Penn )
(Blue Trainalbum cover image © by The John Coltrane Estate, Blue Note Records, & the photographer  John Fordham )

In regards to this hand painted and photoshopped image I created. The image is unique and transforms the meaning and context of the two iconic album cover images. The images are of Miles Davis’s Tutu album, released in1986, and John Coltrane’s Blue Train album released in 1958. This Photo Haiku’s (Haiga) poem references Miles Davis’s Green Dolphin Street, released in 1958 as well. In 1960 and on tour Miles recorded it again with Coltrane as well. The haiku poem I wrote as part of the image juxtaposes the two visual components. In doing so I believe I’ve created an art piece that is uniquely transformative. This art piece (photo haiga) creates a distinct meaning and context, which transform the original images in a unique manner. 

After Miles recorded this songs in 1958 it became a Jazz standard. Since then over one hundred Jazz musicians (Coltrane included) have recorded their own renditions of it. How is this relevant to my blending my poem with two iconic images that are symbolic of Jazz music and these musicians? Well it is because this is my lyrical and visual reinterpretation or rendition of not just an iconic song, images, or film (On Green Dolphin Street”), but instead a uniquely transformative visual piece of artwork. 

Annnie Lennox recorded her interpretation of a Billie Holiday jazz standard in 2014, “Strange Fruit”. The artistic medium, format, meaning, and statement were all the same, even though the context was slightly different. Lennox was reinterpreting Holiday’s 1939 re-interpretation of elements of another piece of artwork. Artwork from another artistic medium, with the same meaning and statement were paraphrased from Abel Meeropol. Meeropol was the poet and lyricist who wrote “Strange Fruit” as a poem. Holiday & Lennox both took what was a poem and transformed recognizable elements of it, its meaning, statement, and for the most part it’s context, from the literary artistic format (a poem) into a musical one. 

I am doing much the same, reinterpreting (from a musical context), honkadoring (from a Japanese Poetic Haiku context), and thus creating my own visual & literary artwork, not just reinterpretations or renditions as Holiday & Lennox did. Instead, I’ve created a uniquely transformative artistic statement. Transformative in the sense that I took not one but three distinctly individual pieces of art work and created a novel one with a unique element of my own, the haiku poems format, this literary format is in part what creates this art pieces unique  context, meaning, and critical statement of the other visual elements of my art piece. Two of the three components (poem, & 2 images) of my transformative artistic statement are derived from Miles & Coltrane’s images and music (Green Dolphin Street) which were hand painted & photoshopped into a kind of polyrhythmic visual and literary statement. This uniquely transformative statement creates a uniquely transformative meaning (unity, which defies the uniformity of the images & words) I incorporated into my piece. 

Truly, this is a question of subjective interpretation. I can see how some might erroneously interpret it as strictly a derivative work, and a transformative work by others. It is not my intention to infringe upon the copyright of the labels, photographers, or artists estates. This is why I digitally manipulated, hand painted, and incorporated a haiku poem into what I perceive as my own transformative creation of my unique artistic statement, one. Whose context and meaning is yes unified with elements of these images but still not uniform in how it presents the elements of these iconic jazz symbols. Thus, I am not merely deriving from other pieces of copyrighted artwork. Instead, I believe I am infusing elements of them into a unique new context with a uniquely unifying meaning, one that in turn created this transformative artistic statement. 

The images and the way I incorporated them into my Photo Haiga are part of another cultural and artistic version of a musician reinterpreting a jazz standard, which these images are in separable from, I speak of the Japanese art of honkadori in poetry.