Monday, June 4, 2012

My First Official Synesthetic Art Piece

  A few years ago I discovered that I have a condition called Grapheme Synesthesia. It's pretty hard to describe what it is but I'll give it a shot... when I'm reading, working out some mathematics, or thinking of words or numbers in my head my mind's eye takes over and I see lots of colors. Simply put, each letter or number has a specific color assigned to it in my psyche and when they are put together to form words or numbers I see a blur or gradient of colors. Some letters or numbers are more dominant than others and tend to take over the colors of the word or number.

  Those of you who are already familiar with Synesthesia won't be surprised that another artist has this condition. Many, not all, artist types have some form of Synesthesia. I recently read that one of my favorite artists Vincent Van Gogh had it which makes a lot of sense in view of his obsession with color. 

  In this post I am introducing a completely new method for my creative process that relies heavily on my condition especially in the selection of colors for the piece. As you will see, I have used the format of ACEOs for this experiment, and this particular experiment is up for a 10 day auction now.

A representation of what I see when I think of the term "Hip-Hop"
  Above is a quick rendering of more or less what I see in my mind when I: hear, read, or think of the term "Hip-Hop". Each letter or character has it's assigned color. The blurred line above my handwriting is sort of what I see when I think of the word quickly- for instance when someone uses this term in a sentence and my mind must keep up with every word as the person is saying it. This particular term has a very dark cloud around it in my mind's eye, but I wrote it on a white background for the sake of clarity. The idea was to create a tribute to Hip-Hop since it is a movement I resonate with deeply. This quick "jot" was created in photoshop to serve as my color palette for the piece pictured below.

The final experiment in ACEO format
  This image is a scan of the final piece utilizing the colors chosen by my synesthesia. Yes, this is a 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" ACEO. I am using this miniature experiment to fashion a work method for what will hopefully become a life-long project in printmaking. This is a new style for me inspired by Dave Kinsey's work among others. I need a new style that will compliment my new-found love of printmaking, and I'm hoping this is it- or an early version of it. Please check back on this blog often to see how this style evolves, and to be informed of my first print runs in the coming months. I have my eye on a few workshops here in Los Angeles so stay tuned art lovers!

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