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By John A. Barry And Bill Carmel

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About this blog: John Barry is the creator of trAction Painting, a process/performance genre in which he applies paint to large surfaces with bicycles, roller skates, and other wheeled conveyances. With Bill Carmel and other associates, he has bro...  (More)

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Jazz and Abstraction

Uploaded: Jan 10, 2018

The jazz program at Peace Lutheran Church is one of the best deals in the area. On the first Sunday of seven months out of the year, you can catch, in the Peace sanctuary, some of the best acts in the business. No ticket price…just a donation for the musicians. The 2018 calendar is here: http://peacejourney.org/free-jazzmusic-2/jazz-calendar/

The group performing on January 7 was the Erik Jekabson Quintet, with Jekabson on trumpet and flugelhorn, Kasey Knudsen on alto sax, a sub for regular Matt Clark on piano, John Wiitala on bass, and Jeff Mars on drums. Thanks to my coauthor, Bill Carmel, and Peace Lutheran, some of my artworks were hanging on the wall. Bill organizes and helps install exhibits in the church throughout the year.

My work owes a debt to the Abstract Expressionists, particularly Jackson Pollock, avatar of the Action Painting component of AE. As an homage to Pollock’s influence, I named my paint-deposition creation method trAction Painting. My “brushes” are skates, scooters, bikes, a baby stroller, a wheelchair…. The resulting works are large, so I was doubly fortunate to have the sanctuary as my exhibit space.

"Obfuskate." Concept by Bill Carmel; execution by the author.

Pollock listened to jazz while he hovered and ran over huge canvases, dripping and splattering his way to immortality. Fellow Abstract Expressionist Willem de Kooning compared his own painting approach to that of Miles Davis’s approach to trumpet playing. As de Kooning put it: “Miles Davis bends the notes. He doesn’t play them, he bends them. I bend the paint.”

Jazz is my favorite musical genre, so I was happy and honored to have my exhibit open to the strains of that most American of music.

In a later post, I will examine the roots of Jazz at Peace.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cholo, a resident of another community,
6 hours ago

Duane Deterville writes for Open Space, SFMOMA...His writing may be of interest to your readers.

Web Link

 +  Like this comment
Posted by JAB, a resident of Danville,
5 hours ago

Thanks for the tip, Cholo.

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