Public Art/Sing for Hope Pianos
"Reflections/Transformation" - Sing for Hope Piano 2015
Reflection - The act of reflecting or the state of being reflected. Something, such as light, radiant heat, sound, or an image, that is reflected. Serious thinking or careful consideration.
Transformation - The act or an instance of transforming. The state of being transformed. A mapping of one space onto another or onto itself.
I was working on a series about dreams and visions, and my concept for this piano emerged from that. The design for this piano combines imagery and symbols of imagination, reinvention, vision, and reflection. Mirrors of different sizes are affixed in varying patterns around the piano. The mirrors become many things including the pupils of eyes, whole faces, and parts of peacock feather and butterfly wing patterning. Sculpted, textural elements and carefully laid glass add to the landscape of the piano. The entire design is a whirl of colorful abstracted faces, feathers, and other forms connected by fluid black lines. All of these images and shapes morph into and out of each other with pieces of the real world reflecting out of them and absorbing into them - a mix of the surreal and the mundane. You can get up really close and see yourself or catch fragments of the world behind and above you even as you sink into the world of the piano. People are constantly feeding off what we see, hear, and experience, and we reinvent ourselves in ways small and large in response. It is my hope that the piano will capture some of the fluidity, joy and strangeness of reflection and transformation: of seeing ourselves and our surroundings in another context.
My piano was located under the DUMBO Archway from June 5, 2015 - June 21, 2015. A big thank you to the DUMBO BID for taking such good care of the piano and for arranging so many wonderful events with and around it. Special thanks also go out to all the Sing for Hope staff and interns, my fellow piano artists, and to everyone who contributed to my Indiegogo campaign. I could not have made the piano without you. Thank you!
UPDATE: Reflections/Transformation has found it's forever home! It is now residing in NYU's Hospital for Joint Diseases in the Rusk Rehabilitation Unit.
Here is the evolution, in pictures, of my 2015 Sing for Hope Piano "Reflections/Transformation" from concept sketch to it's life on the streets:
Super Bowl Piano 2014 - Sing for Hope
In late 2013 and early 2014 I had the priviledge and pleasure to work with 11 students from Sing for Hope's arts education classes to create a New York themed piano for display at the 2014 Super Bowl! The NFL had requested a New York themed piano so I had each of the students tell me what their favorite part of NYC was and why. Using source images of the places they chose, they designed (singly & in teams) compositions of those places, transferred them to the sides of the piano & painted them (most of them in under 4 hours). I connected all of their pieces with silhouettes I added of people going about their lives. The NY masses! People watching was an activity mentioned by a good half of the students and, as it's one of my favorite activities, it seemed appropriate to have the piano crawling with people.
I designed and painted the composition on the top and front of the piano depicting Times Square. Since all of the students were such rock stars, I decided they all needed to have their faces on billboards in Times Square - or at least on my piano version of Times Square. So I painted all of their portraits on the top of the piano. I painted 13 portraits in TWO DAYS! That's a personal record for me.
Here are images of the piano in the studio where we worked on it. Images here are a mixture of my work and the students work. See image captions for details.
"What Dreams May Come" -Sing for Hope Piano 2013
"What Dreams May Come" was my first Sing for Hope Piano. I envisioned a piano covered in intertwined faces and bodies with hints of a fantastical landscape behind, in, and through it. To create it, I cast the faces and limbs of adults and children from all over NYC using plaster bandages and attached the casts to the piano. I then created additional texture with super heavy gesso. The piano was then painted with acrylics - connected throughout by the deep-blue line work that became tree branches, waves, flares of sunshine, and swirling winds, winding through this dreamscape.
The piano was installed at Herald's Square and Lincoln Center in June of 2013.