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Jeffro Kilpatrick: The Rhythm Of The Artist.

June 13, 2012

Text and art by Jeffro Kilpatrick.

On Saturday, I have an art show at Masthead Gallery based entirely on some of my favorite songs and lyrics. The title of the show is “Norris Street MixTape.”

My dad always had records on when I was a kid, and my grandpop had this extensive record collection of old timey music. Both my house and my grandparents’ house were on Norris Street in Fishtown, so I figure that’s where this all starts.

When I draw, music is always playing, giving my hand a rhythm. Music has a direct effect on my work that I can’t get from studying other visual art. You can absorb music and process it while drawing, and it can affect your line quality. These are the first pieces I started for the show. I drew both in my Moleskine sketchbook.

I drew this deep sea diver piece while sitting on the edge of one of the abandoned Greenberg piers in Fishtown.

It was 5 a.m. on a Sunday. I was drinking coffee and drawing as the sun came up. The E.L.O. song “Livin’ Thing” shuffled onto my iPod. Because I was tired, lost in the drawing and my music was so loud, I didn’t notice that the murky green water of the Delaware River was rising to the edge of the pier. A tugboat cruised by on the channel and pushed out a residual wave that eventually splashed over me.

I came out of a daze and realized that my feet were submerged in the Delaware River. It made me laugh. The tide was coming in, not going out. This piece will be fully colored when framed for the show.

The other piece is based on Nick Lowe’s “The Beast In Me,” which he wrote for his then father-in-law Johnny Cash. Cash recorded it on his American Recordings album in 1994. The song is simple and sad and beautiful. I’d say this is hands-down my favorite Johnny Cash tune. I heard it for the first time years ago in college. It’s gradually become kind of like my personal theme song.

There will be around 30 pieces in the show, all based upon songs with meanings to me. There will also be limited edition prints for sale. Plus, I will be giving away free, crazy CD mixes with every purchase.

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