The Jazz.com Blog
November 06, 2008 · 0 comments
This may not be Chelsea or even an inexpensive loft with pipes running across the ceiling . . . but we do like to host regular gallery openings at jazz.com. We look for exciting artwork with a jazz flavor, and feature the best of what we find in the Visual Jazz section of our website. Here you can linger over hundreds of photos and paintings—all admission free. But you need to supply your own wine and cheese.
Today we feature the artwork of Don Pulver, a native of Witchita, Kansas, whose love of the visual arts led to his studies at Kansas City Art Institute, and subsequent career as designer and illustrator in many settings. Jazz and blues musicians are recurring figures in his work, and our gallery features a selection of these vibrant portraits.
"I learned my love of jazz and blues from my older brother," Pulver explains, "who frequently listened to jazz on the radio and played records, and if I paid attention he would tell me about the various groups and give me some background on the music. He would even occasionally take me to a concert (if he couldn’t get a date). In the early days, we listened to the big bands of the late ’40s, but we graduated to the more progressive small quartets and experimental jazz music of the ’50s.
"From there, I followed my own path into a combination of jazz and blues of the ’30s and ’40s up to the present, with an emphasis on the Delta Blues sound. I’m happy to say my oldest son has followed the family tradition by becoming a jazz fan and hitting the local jazz clubs. About ten years ago, I began to make portraits of the many outstanding performers who developed the sounds and styles that led to the music of today."
Pulver explains his approach to his subjects as follows: "For me the whole creative process is exciting: developing the concept, composing the image, mixing the paints and then brushing layer upon layer of color until I’m satisfied that the image is complete to my creative satisfaction. I love interpreting and developing whatever my eyes see or mind envisions, as well as the creation of new visions. If I were to create the same concept tomorrow, it would end differently because each day I capture a bit of that moment’s magic; each painting is a new learning experience, a new experiment and wonderful visual magic. And in that sense, at least, I share the aesthetic joys of a jazz musician."
Click here to visit the Don Pulver gallery at jazz.com
This blog article posted by Ted Gioia.