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Benjamin S. Anderson, Artist Statement

A constant source of inspiration for me as an Artist are two modes of art; visual art and music. They intertwine and have causal interplay with each other, that is, they add to each others existence and energy as creative art forms of expression. As a visual artist and performing musician, I have a deep interest in both of these art modes. Fusing these two forms of art into music inspired paintings of musicians helps express my artistic voice.

I have represented musicians who have mentored me as a musician in drumming, guitar, and ensemble expertise, and musicians that have inspired me. I have tried to capture and express the moments in music that these musicians experience.

The musicians portrayed in this show are all musicians that I feel a personal connection with. Some of these musicians are people that I have had a teacher-student relationship with, a professional relationship, or a fan based relationship. Due to these relationships, my musical understanding and creativity has grown in ways that shape the way I interpret music. Experiencing music and creating musical ideas on the spot or improvising, is the most interesting and exciting part of my journey as a musician.

In regards to the creative process of art and music; what I see I hear, and what I hear I see. For me, the connection between visual art and music is that when I perform music, I imagine new imagery for my paintings, and vice versa. Painting musicians is exciting to me as I listen to the music of the musicians while I paint them.

Jazz music is quite possibly one of the most expressive forms of instrumental creative improvisation. jazz has been essential to my appreciation for blues, rock, classical, reggae, pop, folk, Latin, African, South Asian, and many other forms of music. What fascinates me about many of the musicians in this show is that they are either jazz musicians, or at least have a history of playing jazz before pushing the genre into new unknown waters where the music transcends genre. Of course like all forms of art, there are no hard boundaries here, and my appreciation for music transcends the Jazz genre as does the portraiture in the show.