All my life I've been inspired by folk music. When I say folk music, I mean all aspects of it, ranging from early Appalachian mountain music to the raw sound of Dylan's electric band or the soft sound of Mississippi John Hurt's voice. While in High School I worked sometimes in a bluegrass band accompanying square dances or would hang out in candlelit coffee houses where we'd all take turns playing guitar and singing. A part of this music has stayed with me, and influenced my writing and playing in jazz and world music.
Recently I stumbled upon Murry Lerner's excellent film, "Festival", documenting the early days of the Newport Folk Festival (1960-65).All those familiar faces and new ones as well, captivated my attention and fascinated me again. I started leafing through David Gahr's excellent book of photos "The Face of Folk Music" which portrays extensively those early days, with beautiful portraits of all the performers at Newport from Bill Monroe to Janis Joplin. I realized once again how deep this music has stayed inside me and suddenly had an idea how to bring it out.
Also around this time I started drawing-basically anything, but what I enjoyed the most was doing portraits from photographs-trying to capture a face, an expression, an emotion. After playing at an exhibit of a local artist here in Munich, I had the idea to try something myself. The artist painted on corrugated paper, a technique I had never seen before and found very effectful and inspiring. Borrowing this technique, I painted my first large portrait - Mississippi John Hurt. That irresistible smile and big eyes was the perfect subject for my first attempt. I decided to do a series of portraits of the various musicians from the early Newport days, painted primarily after David Gahr's and other's photographs.
The portraits are on large corrugated cardboard (Wellpapier) 50 x 70 and done in oil pastel and magic marker.
Foto 1, Rosebud Trio Live
Foto 2, Beate Sampson, Sleepy John Estes , Geoff Goodman
Juli 2007 München –OBACHT –Künstler im Quartier
Jan. 2008 München Cafe Ruffini
Dec.08/Jan.2009 Pffafenhoffen – Künstlerwerkstatt
März 2012 Glonn - Schrottgalerie
April – Juni 2013 München – Freies Musikzentrum/OBACHT 2013