Full Article: A painter gifted with the art of listening (Florida Weekly)

A nice mix of art review, article and interview written by the prestigious Lindsey Nesmith for Florida Weekly in May. I hope you like it.

A painter gifted with the art of listening

BY LINDSEY NESMITH

lnesmith@floridaweekly.com  

FLORIDAWEEKLY12MAY16Ignacio Alperin’s exhibition “A Visual Jazz Affair” is showing at The von Liebig Center through June 3.

Synesthesia, the neurological phenomenon where the activation of one of the five senses stimulates another, could be considered to be a quirk of human evolution. Being able to smell laughter is an odd talent, but is also nothing to get worked up about if you happen to be the one person out of 2,000 who experience it.

If you’re an artist however, synesthesia can be a wonderful gift, particularly if you have an affinity for music and the ability to visualize it.

Argentinean artist Ignacio Alperin, whose exhibition “A Visual Jazz Affair” is showing at The von Liebig Center through Friday, June 3, is so blessed: He “sees” music as he hears it. His work is often compared to that of Kandinsky, who he learned also experienced sound-tocolor synesthesia. 

Works by Ignacio Alperin on display at The von Liebig Art Center through June 3 include, clockwise from above left, “Paper Moon,” “Whatever Lola Wants” and “Kind of Blue (and Ochre Too).”

Visitors to The von Liebig exhibit can tune in to the music that inspired several of the paintings in “A Visual Jazz Affair” by scanning a QR code next to the painting and listening through their smartphones.

An ardent love for American jazz, which Mr. Alperin discovered as a child, served as inspiration for the current show.

“People always say there is something musical and rhythmic about the paintings; that there seems to be sound coming out of them,” he says. “It allows my brain to produce shapes and colors with music.”

His paintings certainly do evoke a certain musicality, particularly when viewed alongside the jazz piece he selected to accompany each piece. In “Kind of Blue (and Ochre Too),” for example, viewers can see the syncopation and meditative groove Miles Davis infuses into his cool jazz era recordings. But Mr. Alperin says he didn’t simply transcribe onto canvas the shapes he saw when he listened to “Kind of Blue.” His painting, he says, “is more like a general reference to the album and a feeling. It was a groundbreaking album, and if you look at the painting, you can see how the perspective is breaking up.”

 cards naples  polaroid kind of bueand ochre tooAnother painting, “Whatever Lola Wants,” features a chaotic space and broken perspective centered on a zaftig female figure. Not exactly the self-contained maneater described in “Whatever Lola Wants,” but rather a meditation on Lola come undone.

“This is stormy Lola,” he says. “Lola is wild.”

Visitors to the exhibit will also see six pieces that demonstrate the reverse painting technique, in which Mr. Alperin paints in backward order on the backside of plexiglass. Canvas paintings are layered in such a way that an artist’s first stroke lays the foundation of the work, whereas reverse painting requires that the first stroke be in the foreground and integral element of the composition. “Paper Moon” is one of the plexiglass paintings on display.

“It’s much more restrictive,” he says. “I cannot change what I did first. It has to be thought out.”

The advantage, however, is seeing how the light creates a dimensionality not typically found on canvas when it can pass through the glass and layers of paint. “The colors come alive,” he says. “All that third dimensionality comes up when the light bounces off it.”

Mr. Alperin’s works have been exhibited throughout the world, including London, New York, Miami, Melbourne, Zurich, Lisbon and in Argentina, where he is a professor of creativity and innovation at The Argentine National Catholic University in Buenos Aires.

The artist grew up in Australia and says when his parents took him on an extended trip to Europe as a child, he came home painting after having been to practically every art museum on the continent.

He was childhood friends with Nichaud Fitzgibbons, who became one of Australian’s premiere jazz musicians. At the time, however, her father, Smacka Fitzgibbons, was at the forefront of the music scene, and she knew all the musicians.

“I became hooked on jazz, and it has followed me all my life,” Mr. Alperin says. “I have high respect for the genre … it’s America’s best gift to the world in the 20th century.” ¦

‘A Visual Jazz Affair’

>> What: An exhibit of works by Ignacio Alperin, several of which the viewer studies while listening to the jazz music that inspired them

>> When: Through Friday, June 3

>> Where: The von Liebig Art Center

> Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday       

THE ART OF THINKING OUT LOUD (Ignacio Alperin´s Blog)

BY LINDSEY NESMITH

Ignacio Alperin’s exhibition “A Visual Jazz Affair” is showing at The von Liebig Center through June 3.  Synesthesia, the neurological phenomenon where the activation of one of the five senses stimulates another, could be considered to be a quirk of human evolution. Being able to smell laughter is an odd talent, but is also nothing Works by Ignacio Alperin on display at The von Liebig Art Center through June 3 include, clockwise from above left, “Paper Moon,” “Whatever Lola Wants” and “Kind of Blue (and Ochre Too).” to get worked up about if you happen to be the one person out of 2,000 who experience it.

If you’re an artist however, synesthesia can be a wonderful gift, particularly if you have an affinity for music and the ability to visualize it.

Argentinean artist Ignacio Alperin, whose exhibition “A Visual Jazz Affair” is showing at The von Liebig Center through Friday, June 3, is so blessed: He “sees” music as he hears it. His work is often compared to that of Kandinsky, who he learned also experienced sound-to-color synesthesia.

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