By Monica Torres
The ritual union of art & music was explored at the Analog Art Show: Where Art Meets Vinyl last Friday at Sweat Records. There’s something special about putting the needle down on a piece of vinyl, hearing that screechy sound, then watching it spin melodies-the movement itself an aphrodisiac for dance. Vinyls take me back to childhood when my dad played Willie Nelson and Nat King Cole records on an old wooden record player while we danced next to them in the living room, a sort of after-dinner ritual.
The exhibit explored how listening to music on vinyl records can be an art form. Like those old discarded records that are transformed into something of beauty, the art of putting the needle down on a piece of vinyl, hearing that screechy sound, and watching it spin music, shouldn’t be discarded because there are newer forms of transcribing sound. The sound and beauty of vinyl records is not a thing of the past, but a thing that will be around forever thanks to places like Sweat Records.
I went to see the Analog Art Show: Where Art Meets Vinyl at Sweat on Friday, met up with friends and made some new ones. In general, the event boasted a great turnout- Ms. Cheezious was parked outside providing some yum. Surrounded by a room full of hippie-types and underground art-lovers, I chatted with the event organizer, Yuval Ofir, President of Yo Miami, and asked him a little about his inspiration for the event. Yuval told me that he had been wanting to collaborate with Sweat Records for some time. He hoped to give local artists the challenge to create works on a fresh new, unexpected platform, vinyl records, giving them the freedom to work with more affordable materials and the opportunity to do something different. All final pieces sold for less than $200, much like those at Yo Miami’s Average Joe Art Sale, a real bargain in today’s art world. It gives “average” kids a chance to start their own art collection. The idea, Yuval said, came from his friend, local artist, WHUT, who’s known for using vinyl as the principal medium for his work. He creates collages on records and CDs. One of his original pieces shown below was to be auctioned at the event and given away as part of Free Art Fridays.
The idea of putting art on vinyl is sort of metaphysical. The rotation of the record, like the passing of time, gives viewers the constant sensation of movement. Therein lies the beauty of this art form. Old pieces that are seemingly outdated, unwanted, discarded, like vinyl records (I mean who uses those anymore), are shown to have value besides just the mechanism for hearing sound and music. They are now portrayed as works of art.
Miami As Muse
A friend of a friend I met happened to be Esther Weinbach one of the artists exhibiting at the event, so I got a chance to meet her and chat with her a bit about her inspiration behind the work. Esther said she was inspired to create a piece with colors true to the city of Miami. I also had the pleasure to meet Ernesto Kunde of Kunde Art. Ernesto’s pieces caught my eye. Out of a backdrop of maps, his silhouetted images show the beauty of natural forms. He also said his pieces were inspired by the city, particularly the Mangroves and the beautiful scantily-clad women.
Some of the other notable pieces were inspired by music. These include Teepop’s record in honor of Blondie’s recent birthday and one portraying the Beastie Boys. Local artist, Diana Contreras, also created portraits of the singer Lauryn Hill. Her portrait of Lauryn Hill entitled “A Rose is Still a Rose” is shown below. Among the many others that exhibited were ATOMIK, Luis Berros, Trek6, Chy Tea Shoulin, Ivan Roque, Kazilla, Reiner Gamboa, Lorie Setton and many more.