August 7, 2009
Friday night at the Brooklyn’s Littlefield art-performance space was the official opening of The Exhibition, a collection of artworks made of actual guitars. Created and spearheaded by guitarist Kaki King, the exhibit was a showcase of 16 artists/fans interpretations of guitar art drawing from King’s songs.
Drawing a mainly large and hipster crowd, the one-night only show featured the unique creations hanging on a wire. (The Littlefield is architecturally reminiscent of Long Island City’s SculptureCenter, sans the performance stage). Using blank guitars donated by King’s guitar company Ovation, these artists made unique art that incorporated various media from paint to found objects. Some of these included Reni Papananias’ “Sad American,” which was a luggage containing old items; and Andrea Arceneaux’s “Pull Me Out Alive,” which incorporated graffiti-like designs.
The main highlight of the evening was Kaki King, who performed a couple of the songs that were inspired for some of the guitars, including “Night After Sidewalk.” For anyone who has never seen King perform live, it is certainly an event just to see how she finger picks the guitar strings to create sounds that are rich, full and tuneful. To casual folks, her style is reminiscent of both classical guitar playing and the avant-garde.
The performance was capped off with her rendition of her 2004 song “Playing with Pink Noise.” Sitting on a chair underneath white plastic tarp on the stage floor, King put on pink paint on her fingertips and played to the original prerecorded song on her blue guitar. As she explained in an interview for Spinner, the purpose was to show how her fingers traveled on the guitar as she was playing it. Over the course of the song, the audience members saw pink painted streaks and blotches all over the guitar. It will be later auctioned off for VH1’s Save the Music.
One is used to seeing guitars displayed as artifacts of music history in places the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex. However, the Exhibition offered a more unique take on the stringed instrument as an art object in itself.
Photos from the evening: http://www.flickr.com/photos/41238022@N05/sets/72157621982931348/
For more about The Exhibition and photos of the artists at work, visit http://www.facebook.com/KakiKingTheExhibition?ref=mf
Read an interview with Kaki King about the show on Spinner.com.