Earlier this summer I created a 3-D piece for an exhibit called Liberated Strings: The Guitar in Art at the Barron Arts Center in Woodbridge. The exhibit runs from July 22 to August 21.
My contribution, UNSTRUNG, consists of a burlap-covered frame with a recessed space holding a ukulele, its strings hanging loose from the instrument. The concept behind UNSTRUNG stems from my fondness for binary oppositions. The contrast between the elegant, colorful silk draped over the ordinary, colorless burlap is one such opposition. Another is my own take on Rene Magritte’s famous line: Ceci n’est pas une pipe. Magritte wrote those words to explain that his painting of a pipe was only a representation of it. I changed the Belgian surrealist’s phrase to define the object in question (the guitar) by what it is not. The juxtaposition of guitar and ukulele represents yet another opposition: the noble guitar vs. the less sophisticated uke. (Even the word “uke”–“flea” in Hawaiian–is revealing in its association with that pest.)
UNSTRUNG (2016), burlap, silk, wood, paper. 24″ x 24″