The Jazz.com Blog
September 18, 2008 · 0 comments
As regular visitors to this site know, we have a fondness for the visual arts. Whenever possible, we draw on the skills of the finest painters and photographers we can find, appreciating that their images can sometimes be more effective than anything we might write. Jazz is a visceral art, which tries to capture and convey the spontaneity and intensity of the instant in which it was created. As such, the jazz musician has a special affinity with the visual artist, who also attempts to make permanent the special transcendence of the momentary. In a very real way, the image and sound are linked.
Today, jazz.com launches a new gallery featuring the artwork of Keith Henry Brown, one of whose paintings can be seen above. Brown began his career, like many young artists, with aspirations of working as a cartoonist at Marvel Comics. After attending the High School for Art and Design in New York, Brown decided that his future would not reside in the realm of Spiderman and the Fantastic Four. Instead, he focused his efforts on developing his skills as a painter and illustrator. At this stage in his development, he looked for inspiration from illustrators such as Howard Pyle, Frank Frazetta (one of my favorites, too, in my younger days), Burton Silverman, Le Roy Neiman and David Stone Martin (the latter is well known to jazz fans for his work with the Clef, Norgran, and Verve labels). He also learned from painters such as Diego Rivera, Pablo Picasso, and Jean Michel-Basquiat, among others.
His earliest commercial efforts were in the field of greeting cards soon followed by work for newspapers and periodicals. But like many jazz-influenced visual artists, he found that his personal passion for music also came to inspire his brushwork. This came to the fore in 2001, when Brown became Creative Director at Jazz at Lincoln Center, hand-picked for the position by Wynton Marsalis. Brown's jazz-oriented work has also been on display on many CD covers, for artists such as Toshiko Akiyoshi, Duke Ellington, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and others.
Brown currently lives in New York and New Jersey, and his works are currently featured in galleries in New York, West Palm Beach, Hilton Head, Chicago, Houston, San Jose, and Las Vegas.
Site visitors are invited to check out the Keith Henry Brown gallery here.
This blog entry posted by Ted Gioia