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2015 art works 2015 Exhibitions 2016 art works 2016 exhibtions Creativity / Creatividad Visual Jazz

TOWER OF POWER

I have been watching Jerry Seinfeld´s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee since it was first on. From the beginning I liked the concept and most importantly, the way it was done.

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The first thing I thought was “Mr. Seinfeld is probably right. We like coffee, we like cars, and comedians are funny. So, what´s not to love?”.

But many doubted. It was online, it was long, it was kind of weird (albeit, it was my kind of weird), and there was no real script. It was the ultimate show about nothing in particular with people who didn´t exactly know what they were doing there.

So the coffee bit was essential. Coffee, even more than cars, was the tree from which Seinfeld and friends could hang branches to leap around.

The initial response you heard on the grapevine was that it wasn´t going to work. I have been around enough internet specialists and executives to know that their view is that the average attention span of an internet viewer is about 5 minutes. So an online show of between 15 and 25 minutes was just not going to make it.

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And yes ladies and gentlemen, do not be surprised. The people who feed us the virtual information we voraciously eat like Soilent Green think we are all internet dodos. It seems we generally have the attention span of a fly as well as the need to touch and move things around like chimpanzees.

But there is where Seinfeld and Co. hit the right note. They provided us, simians of the information age, with a tree and branches! And we all just jumped at the opportunity of enjoying ourselves before someone came along with the need for us to move along.

And so, six seasons on, we are still hanging around. Doing a bit of a “hoo hoo haa haa” while clinching to a banana peel and enjoying some friendly banter.

In the last episode of December 2015, Jerry had a very special guest: President Barack Obama. I urge you to watch this episode in the same way I urge you to watch all episodes. This one is surprisingly fresh and uncomfortably relaxed, and on top of that, it hit a right note at a time when I was in the middle of writing my last Blog article.

Tower of Power – the title of this article – is also the name of a painting of mine from early 2015. It is made in acrylic, inks, and oil based paints on canvas, and it is only 50cm wide by 70cm in height (not very large), but very powerful and intense. It is dedicated to the great R&B, Soul and Jazz band of the same name, from California, which has been around for more than 50 years and which has survived many changes in its composition.

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TOWER OF POWER (2015) by Ignacio Alperin
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ToP (2015) – detail –

And it is not only a great band (and a pretty powerful painting), it is also a way of referring to that ivory tower, or that isolated presidential palace to which so many people aspire, harnessed by money, political clout, or even circumstantial public support. It is same place that once clinched, they usually don´t want to leave.

The tower – my tower – is chaotic, energetic, a little unstable, and reminiscent of Babel´s, with an orange –furious- sky behind.

“Power tends to corrupt, while absolute power corrupts absolutely”, so says the famous quote from John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, KCVO, DL. Or as you probably know him, Bob (or most likely, Lord Acton). He also said that “Great men are almost always bad men”.

President Obama refers very candidly, in his coffee laden chat with Jerry Seinfeld, to how nutty many world politicians get after holding on to power for too long.

Watching Obama with Seinfeld, and even admitting his “Well, I´m a cool President” line (you´ll see it in the full versión of the show), one cannot escape thinking that we are in the presence of one of the most powerful men in the world (in fact, these are two very powerful men chatting with each other).

So in light of Lord Acton´s phrase, would he qualify as bad, but charming? Or is it, as he says, that he may have saved himself -for now- from the perils of power just because he loves his job? And does this make him a good gage of what surrounds him?

Well, be it as it may, Obama´s explicit mention of world leaders who have “simply lost it” must have sent shivers down the spine of many seemingly powerful, self-conscious, mirror loving politicians the world over – both current and former -. It is uncomfortably funny to watch as well.

The truth is that, no matter where you live in the world, you can probably think of many examples. I was born in Argentina and we have a long history of nuts at the helm. But don´t be too hasty to laugh. This is something all nations share. I lived in several countries around the world and I can think of many politicians who qualify in this league. Power seems to have a tendency to corrupt no matter where you were born, how smart or pretty you are, or how well you talk or look on TV.

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Tower of Power (2015) by Ignacio Alperin – detail –

On the positive side, sooner or later, we pass through these self-centered eccentrics and thugs, just like we pass any painful gall bladder stone, and we go on living (and peeing) with joy.

And as long as we are going to go on living –and peeing-, I would sugest that good music be always present. Here is then a great concert from Tower of Power, an impressive and powerful band, playing live in Lugano (Switzerland) in 2010.

Until our next coffee, leap and jump.

Ignacio

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©2016 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera

Recommended: comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com

 

 

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Looking Back

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Looking Back (2015) by Ignacio Alperin – detail-

Distance. We always need distance. “20/20 vision in hindsight” says the refrain. Being in the middle of whatever it is we are trying to clarify, solve, understand… is always a challenging place to be. That is why so few can become strong decision makers. Being able to make decisions in the middle of the storm is something that is in the purview of a good ship´s captain. And we know that not everyone has what it takes to make it there.

So for most mortals, looking back may be one of the ways in which we learn. It is a way to really “see” and better understand what happened, and what we must do to avoid the negatives and make even better all the positives.


Bill Mays plays “Looking Back”


The problem here is that for nearly everyone, looking back would mean admitting mistakes, maybe some bad decisions, or the existence of opportunities that may have been mistakenly lost or left unattended. So we revisit scenes on our own. It is mostly a private affair. Almost as peering through a half open door and watching a scene from a movie that feels familiar.

It is like home schooling for grown-ups. Only when we test it against others, we may find out whether it really worked or not. In the meantime, we keep going. We keep looking back. We keep seeing better and better, even if most often than not, a little while too late. 

Looking Back (2015), By Ignacio Alperin Bruvera

She is looking back, hiden amongst her own blues and attempting to become a Captain of her own ship. Only those who really care  will see her, pondering, about what was left behind. Looking back…

Looking Back (2015) 50x50IAB

Acrylic, Ink, and Oil based paints on Canvas. 50cm x 50cm

In more detail, some macro photography of the same painting.

And finally…there “she” is, just in case you want to know…. barely sketched but, just like “her”, if we look back at the painting and at a distance, we will see.

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Until next time!

Ignacio

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©2016 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cool is Kul is “Cool”

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What makes something or someone “cool”?

The whole concept has become blurred by so many personal interpretations that to some, it may have even lost meaning.

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I keep hoping, at the very least, that it maintains a certain conceptual dignity in true reference to its roots.

According to the Oxford dictionary, it was originally an African-American usage that became popular in the 1930´s as a general term of approval, meaning something akin to admirable or excellent, combined with certain aloofness that is meant to give it an aura of mystery.

Yet some have concurrently developed the idea that the concept of “cool” originally developed from the Swedish word for “fun”, kul, which sounds very much like cool.

1320_10151563914742424_963542533_nWhen one thinks about it, it is a nice idea to join both competing interpretations, as “cool” was popularized among jazz musicians and enthusiasts in the late 1940s to describe the music, art and scene that evolved with the great American Jazz revolution.

Cool to me is still that.

Cool is excellence, aloofness, and fun. And all of these terms relate perfectly to Jazz.

What I try to do as an artist is also “cool” in its own way.

My light synesthesia has embraced my most creative instincts around jazz. I consider jazz to be the best example we have of a creative community. Forget about brain storming sessions. Just think of Miles Davis and his band in 1958/61.

Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams, in Amsterdam, 1964.This is the perfect combination of extremely creative individuals combining to make something sublime, without losing the characteristics of each musician. It is the perfect example of cool.

My art feeds on that brilliance. I admit my talent would not be able to show itself in the same way without musical creative geniuses like these.

And it is my hope that my art reflects that same aura of coolness.

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CHARADE (2014) 130CM X 90CM ACRYLIC, INK AND OIL BASED PAINTS ON WOOD. Copyright 2014 Ignacio Alperin

Art that is fun, intellectually challenging, and aloof enough to make the path to its full discovery, something interesting and worth doing.

I leave you with a Miles Davis Quintet full concert, from 1967. Enjoy.

Until the next time.

Ignacio

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©2014 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera

 

 

 

 

 

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An afternoon with Mr. Evans (and if it is in Paris, even better…)

billevanscoverBill Evans is one of those artists who are constantly present in my work.

This great piano genius was born in New Jersey, in 1929. He passed away in 1980 from health complications related to his hepatitis and his cocaine drug abuse, in what was described by a close colleague as “the longest suicide in history”.

At the height of his career, Evans was as emblematic to jazz and his instrument (piano) as Miles Davis was to the movement and trumpet playing.

He is seen as the main reformer of the harmonic language of jazz piano and was influenced by impressionist composers such as Debussy and Ravel. His versions of jazz standards, as well as his own compositions, always featured thorough changes to their original harmonies.  Musical features included added tone chords, modal inflections, unconventional substitutions, and modulations.

From Wikipedia:

Above is an example of Evans’s harmonies. The chords feature extensions like 9ths and 13ths, are laid around middle C, have smooth voice leading, and leave the root to the bassist. Bridge of the first chorus of Waltz for Debby (mm.33-36). From the homonymous album of 1961.

One of Evans’s distinctive harmonic traits is abandoning the inclusion of the root in his chords, leaving this work to the bassist, played on another beat of the measure, or just left implied. “If I am going to be sitting here playing roots, fifths and full voicings, the bass is relegated to a time machine.” This idea had already been explored by Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner, and Red Garland. In Evans’s system, the chord is expressed as a quality identity and a color. Most of Evans’s harmonies feature added note chords or quartal voicings.

Thus, Evans created a self-sufficient language for the left hand, a distinctive voicing, that allowed the transition from one chord to the next while hardly having to move the hand. With this technique, he created an effect of continuity in the central register of the piano. Laying around middle C, in this region the harmonic clusters sounded the clearest, and at the same time, left room for contrapunctal independence with the bass. Evans’s improvisations relied heavily in motivic development, either melodically or rhythmically.Motives may be broken and recombined to form melodies. Another characteristic of Evans’s style is rhythmic displacement. His melodic contours often describe arches.Other characteristics include sequenciation of melodies and transforming one motive into another.

Beyond his brilliance as a pianist and musician, and his technical excellence, Evans managed to imbue his music with a such warmth and melancholy that listening to him playing, even today, generates a deep emotional vibration.

This new work of mine, from 2013 and simply called “An afternoon with Mr. Evans” is one more of the many jazz and Evans inspired works in my own artistic repertoire.

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AN AFTERNOON WITH MR. EVANS (2013), ACRILYC, INK AND OIL BASED PAINTS ON CANVAS, 50CM X 65CM, c Copyright 2013 Ignacio Alperin

I leave you while I hope you enjoy these next few minutes listening of this genius playing live in 1972 .

See you next time.

Ignacio

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©Copyright 2014 Ignacio Alperin

 

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LET´S GET AWAY FROM IT ALL

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LET´S GET AWAY FROM IT ALL (2012) by Ignacio Alperin

 

City life gets to be too hectic sometimes so, isn’t it nice when we can get our selves freed from everything, and just let go, do something crazy like freeing some colorful balloons in a park and seeing them rise,  or simply grab a loved someone by the waste and just like a superhero, point towards the sky and just shout… Let’s get away from it all!… and just fly away (I admit, that is definitely the difficult part).

Well, I know, none of it is as easy as it sounds, but you can certainly look at this painting hanging on your wall and think…I can do that.. 🙂

See you next time!

Ignacio

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2013 Art works 2013 Exhibitions Exhibitions IN ENGLISH Videos Visual Jazz

FINDING MY WAY BACK TO YOU

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A new painting from 2013, “Finding my way back to you” is a multi layered story that rings true on many levels.  We have all probably felt at some point in our lives that strange feeling of loneliness that can permeate everything.

Sometimes it is just a simple need, a longing for some solitude in the middle of our hectic lives. But sometimes it is something much more complex.

IAB_Finding my way to you_2013_60x80cm_edited1Perhaps a realization that we have strayed from our purported paths and we are now alone, facing our worst fears and a dark, sometimes scary road that may, or may not, allow us to get back to where we feel happiest and most satisfied with life and ourselves.

A lost love may take us there, or a seemingly lost life in which we have made some bad or mistaken decisions and where we feel lost, lonely, and in a place where everything feels just wrong.IAB_Finding my way to you_2013_60x80cm_edited3

Whatever the reason, we stand alone at the portal of this individual purgatory.

Hell is somewhere close…we can feel the heat and see the glare of the brazing flames, but we are not yet there.

It all feels uncomfortable and yet we know deeply in our hearts that there is a path that will take us back, and it will be up to us to find it or lose our way all together.

We are paralyzed as we prepare to enter. We stay there and look around, just thinking about everything IAB_Finding my way to you_2013_60x80cm_edited5while we try to get the strength to move forward into this land of contrasts, where the choices may be a far away, and yet very real, fall into everlasting pain; or instead a complex search for self awareness, redemption and truth.

The stairs to salvation are up there somewhere. The setting is asking us to change, to transfigure, to become IAB_Finding my way to you_2013_60x80cm_edited4something else and yet stay the same. Perhaps, it is just asking us to return to our essence.

The location of the entrance to this connecting tunnel is just there for us to find.

The price of our endeavor is high, but finding the peaceful feeling of being back on the true path, the warmth knowledge of feeling true love once more and the reunion with a heartfelt smile, makes it all worth every step, every risk, and every tear.

As always, let’s not finish before we get some music to accompany this new work. It is a great song from Eric Clapton, and it kind of talks about a personal purgatory and his own way of getting back to the warmth of his love. As I said at the beginning, there are many reasons we go through this, and many ways to express those feelings.

Enjoy!

See you next time.

Ignacio

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Abandoned Garden

This smooth vocal Jazz album  by Michael Franks, and particularly the song that inspires it, was also the inspiration for this painting of mine from early this year.

It had been a sad period, with the passing of my dear Zamba, my darling 9 year old Golden Retriever, at the hands of a very unusual illness.

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ABANDONED GARDEN (2013) by Ignacio Alperin

 

When I am sad, my painting reflects it. In my case colors go a little deeper, rather than darker, and the circular motion takes over. It may have to do with reflecting over the cycle of life, or the circularity that in itself is the reflective period behind every traumatic experience that we go through. Reflecting means looking at the image that is returned to us, but also means going back, and returning, over and over.

I love this painting. it is abandoned from the human perspective of being free to do as it pleases and of no longer being controlled, but it is not an abandoned scene from the perspective of being alone or not taken care of. There are flowers growing, although they may look a little sad. And there is light, and the hint of water, and deep and changing reds that reflect the deep emotion that surrounds the scene.

I invite you to listen to the song and share with me the experience of walking through this “Abandoned Garden”.

Until next time,

Ignacio

©2013 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera

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Mornin’

 

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MORNIN´ (2012) by Ignacio Alperin

 

This quadriptych was painted on 4 pieces of wood, with a total size of 120cm x 112cm and it weas finished in November 2012.

Painted in acrylic, oil based paints, and engraving ink, it had been waiting for the right time to be shown

And the time came. I placed it on show for the first time at the Art Show Exhibition which was held at the Palermo Racecourse, right in one of the prettiest areas of Buenos Aires Palermo neighbourhood, at the end of April 2013.

The exhibition was very succesful and it was a great experience to share this space with so many great artists.

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As always, there is a very nice song as inspiration behind this painting. So let’s enjoy it together. Here is the great Al Jarreau.

 Until next time,

Ignacio