Sunday, May 30, 2010

Roberto Carlos Lange

Roberto Carlos Lange
20" x 17.75"
oil on wood, 2010

In keeping up painting for the Top 100, I worked all last week on the Roberto Carlos Lange painting whose track Amazonian Pacific currently resides at #3. The image is a still from a video my wife made during the sound-check for a performance at Country Club in Cincinnati. We met Roberto there and talked for a while. A lovely time indeed. I wanted to buy one of his records for sale there and asked him which one to get. "What are you looking for", he asked. I said "I liked the rawness of a Helado Negro (one of his bands) tune I saw on a video". He recommended the Intonations LP that contains this Amazonian Pacific. I like it a lot but not because of any rawness on it. His music is not about rawness but I never asked him what it would be about instead. A question like that I find a little rude. People hardly ever ask me that question but my paintings are obvious true representations of musicians. When they do ask I have sort of a standard answer that always involves the words fan, archive, and obsession. I then explain that the concept works because I didn't think it up: It started as a boy's hobby and it evolved organically over 28 years without ever changing the main concept. I'm sure Roberto also would have a standard paragraph to answer the question. His music is pretty abstract and thus harder to pin down. What do I think his music is about? Well, first of all about atmosphere in a formal sense. Then I think it is about spiritual concepts concerning community, humanity (love and such) in a broader sense and, in an even broader sense; cosmology. That's all good and well but what really matters, on a night like that Saturday in Cincinnati, is how the keyboard stand is set up on stage. If you look at the painting the keyboard is a bit high: he would not have been able to comfortably perform his music this way. I just noticed it, and once you see it you see nothing but. So I have to fix it in the painting. A weeks worth of painting (not precisely 40 hours; I have a job so it's 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there). Two hours on Sunday, a half hour Tuesday, another half hour Wednesday, a full hour on Saturday. And now, the next Sunday, it's done but then I notice that big mistake. Thank God it's a three day weekend.

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