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Ellen Priest

Jazz Cubano #20: Arturo and Elio, Thinking Out Loud

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Ellen Priest

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Jazz Cubano #20: Arturo and Elio, Thinking Out Loud by Ellen Priest
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Jazz Cubano #20: Arturo and Elio, Thinking Out Loud

by

Ellen Priest

US$ 11,900

Overview

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2016

Papers, oil, flashe, pencil, msa gel

Unique Work

Dimensions: 81.2cm (H) x 81.2cm (W) / 32" (H) x 32" (W)

Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.

Artist Statement

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The movement and space in Afro-Cuban jazz has long fascinated Ellen Priest, especially the percussion. In her 2012-16 Jazz Cubano Series she took those complex rhythms and melodies apart to reconstruct them visually.

She began work in 2012 with the music of Cuban percussionist Arturo Stable and Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca using their duo recording Dos Y Mas.

In order to find a visual translation she had to break the music down into its simplest components – literally, single percussion sounds. Those fueled a series of fifty brush studies. Next she transferred pairs of them one over another and painted into them – the “Percussion Drawings.” Only after many months she was comfortable beginning the larger brush studies and layered paintings.

Making their work a painting/jazz conversation, Arturo and Elio improvised from Ellen's brush studies in April 2013. She composed new pieces from music informally recorded in that session – layered, collaged paintings titled, Jazz Cubano # 20-17: Arturo and Elio, Thinking Out Loud.

The second phase of Jazz Cubano is based on a piece from Stefon Harris’, David Sanchez’ and Christian Scott’s Ninety Miles Project. “Brown Belle Blues” was composed by vibraphonist Stefon Harris. The overlays of rhythms caught Ellen's imagination instantly when she heard them perform it live at a jazz festival in the summer of 2011.

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Artist Profile

Born: 1951

Hometown: Philadelphia

Based in: Philadelphia

Ellen Priest is an American abstract artist who is inspired by music and most notably by jazz.
Ellen Priest's jazz-based abstractions balance directly on the border between painting and sculpture – vibrantly colored spatial illusions when reading from a distance and 3-D relief constructions of layered, collaged paper when seen up close.


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