Tuesday, December 21, 2010
16" x 8.75"
oil on wood, 2010
A few weeks ago I mentioned that it was 25 years ago that Fela Kuti was last represented in my annual Top 100. A bit surprising maybe, considering my ever increasing infatuation with music from the African continent, and with jazz, to leave out its biggest star. Maybe not so surprising considering my ever increasing oblivion towards musical stardom. When in 1986 maybe half the musicians could be tagged as star, now I could maybe tag only one out of five as such. What constitutes a star then? A question as subjective in popular culture as it is objective in astronomy. The cutoff for me is somewhere between Beth Orton and Odetta, or John Jacob Niles and David Allen Coe. These are the thirteen stars in the Top 100 2010 so far (in order of stardom according to my subjective criteria):
Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Nina Simone, M.I.A., Ornette Coleman, Fela Kuti, Joni Mitchell, Cat Power, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Townes Van Zandt, Burzum, David Allen Coe, Odetta
Unconsciously or not, a star is painted differently, as a star I guess, an icon. So here's my painting of Fela Kuti, could easily be used as the cover for a The Best Of... album or something. (Darn, the image already was just that.)