“ABSTRACT” JAZZ ART…

(“Bailaora Seria” acrylic on canvas, 30x40cm, Omnia Caelum Studios Turkey)

As one who had been a dancer, or at least a very dedicated dance student for a few long years, I have always tried to bring to my paintings the movements, the aesthetics and the figures that correspond to the art of the dance in its many forms, styles and genres. One of my favourite dance forms is Flamenco. Not just the dance, but the whole extent of its artistic expressions, like the singing, the songs themselves and the great guitar work. I wanted to represent what Flamenco meant to me…

(“Flamencana” acrylic on canvas 90×120, Omnia Caelum Studios Turkey)

As an abstract artist, I love to include the human figure in my work. I still call it abstract because most of the remaining composition is done in abstract manner but the figure always has to assume a principal role. I believe in abstraction only as far as what I can do with the layers, with the perspective and with the colour within my compositions. There may be purists who say this is not abstract but at the time I was painting these, which was between 2004 and 2008, abstractions were on my mind…

(“Amb Peix acrylic on canvas 127,5x61cm, private collection, Miami)

Colour tells a story. The colours create the abstraction for the bodies are there but they are abstractions from what a real body would be. The colour of the bodies tells more about them than their natural colour. I am a naturalist painter in many ways, so I will always try to resemble my work to some aspects of reality. The abstract points are in the parts of the composition where you, the viewer, has to complete the picture. When you abstract something from a whole, you’ve just taken a sample, let me say it that way and the sample does not have to resemble, in appearance, what the whole is like.

And, of course, Abstract Jazz Art has to have a figurative representation of those who actually perform Jazz, who are the normal and customary visual components of the music of Jazz. The above two are expressionistic in their psychological perspective but artistically speaking, I still consider them to be abstract art, although with figures.

Of course, there are some definitions to contemplate when one is engaging in a style or type of artwork. What I consider “jazz-art”, and I consider myself a “jazz-painter”, is art done in tune with or following the definition of Jazz music as it was developed by its original masters back in New Orleans at the turn of the XXth Century. That means that my work has to have ample improvisation built in, the composition itself…as would a soloist in a Jazz ensemble…has to create its own destiny, has to carve its own path through the painting and it has to have rhythm.

Reference definitions of abstract art, I work with the thoughts that say that the colours are imperative, that the colours create the mood, the feeling, the emotions and that the reference, internal as it may be, can be reflected in the work. Figures can certainly exist as long as the composition remains within the bounds of the abstract, holding back the whole and only showing the aspects that would create the most profound expression and meaning, communicating what is in the mind of the artist at the time when the work was done.

Abstract Jazz Art is how I can describe my work because of my own personal background, in dance and in music. I consider myself, primarily, a naturalist painter because, in effect, even the abstractions are from natural sources. Nature provides, we are all abstractions in many ways.

I have chosen to illustrate here several of my work within the style that I would call abstract, although they are not too different from those that I do not consider abstract at all. But because of the fact the the principal references in their compositions are abstractions from the whole, I think of them as abstract paintings. These were done in the years between 2004 and 2008 and most have been exhibited and sold since.

If you would like to see more of my work, I will invite you to follow my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and to visit my online galleries to see my 2019 “JaZzArt en Valencia” collection, at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

If you have liked what you have read and seen, please hit that lovely like button, follow and share. And comments, critiques, ideas et al are greatly encouraged, welcome and appreciated.

THANKS!

From My Blood-Red Orange: “New York City”

“2008” acrylic on canvas, 54 x 107 cm
In private collection
Where I live there are no ice cream parlours,
no snack bars on the beach,
no fast food on the harbours.
Where I live the food is nasty, hard to eat,
the water tastes like piss,
the fruits smell like sewer rats
that before you bear their teeth.

Where I sleep the air is not conditioned cool,
or warmer during frozen days.
My mattress is a cardboard box,
I'm up as soon as I feel the first of that yellow ball's rays.
My breakfast, in the dumpster on Eighth Avenue and Fifty Seventh Street,
If I can find anything after all my neighbours eat,
'cause they're bigger and they're meaner and they never let me pass,
I guess when I turn ten or twelve I'll get something at last.

Yes, I'm from right here, Manhattan, Midtown,
but I was born in the Bronx,
and when I was just a baby my mother crossed the river
and New York's been my home.
My mom?
Lying in an alley, just west of Ninth and Forty Second Street.
She's been there for a whole day,
can't rouse her from that sleep.
But I don't care, I never knew her well,
she brought me to this island city
where the devil seems to dwell.

I was remembering a song by the Beatles, that Paul wrote and sang that started like this: “Ah, look at all the lonely people, where do they all come from? Where do they all belong?” The song, “Eleanor Rigby”, was released as a double A-side single with “Yellow Submarine,” in August of 1966. Both are from the album Revolver.

The song is about two lonely people, Eleanor, an old woman who exists in a world of her own, population one. Her main purpose in life is nothingness. She “picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been.” The other is the priest, Father McKenzie, who preaches in an empty church and whose sermons “no one will hear.” Eleanor dies and he buries the old woman. To her funeral, nobody came, just him, seemingly caring little for the lonely people, “he walks from the grave.”

“No one was saved, all the lonely people, where do they all come from, all the lonely people, where do they all belong.” The cycle of life and death among the “lonely people” simply begins again…

What do you think? As an artist, I encourage all others engaged in the creative arts, or not, to get involved. This is our world, this is our problem. I have been focusing on two very serious conditions found in the world today, mainly poverty and the plight of immigrants. I think that if we all do our part, we can begin to change things, even if we have to do it helping only one person at a time. That is one less. It’s worth the effort.

If you agree, please share, comment and hit that like button. Let’s discuss these topics. Whoever said that topics such as politics and religion…or others also considered polemic…should not be discussed was lying. Such topics should be the source of discussions and conversations perpetually on everyone’s agenda. Of course, only through civilised discussions, no fights, no argumentum ad hominem, let us argue only the facts.

You can see my artwork…like the one above…drawings and paintings, on my Instagram, @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and my online galleries, featuring my 2019 collection, “JaZzArt en Valencia” at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155 (you can browse, you need not purchase anything)

THANKS!