Thursday, May 8, 2014

Celia Cruz

Celia Cruz
12" x 9"
oil on board, 2014
It's a bit of a diary these writings. It reflects periods of excitement as well periods of self doubt and depression. The writings have embedded into it the memories of my infatuation with the music I write about and the process of making the painting. Each of the songs illustrated on this blog, represent episodes in my life in which it was meaningful. Sometimes they illustrate a topic, an attitude, or a feeling I was dealing with at a particular time while other times they're associated with a specific event. Mostly though, the songs represent a moment of intense empathy with the sounds, performers, or with the context. The paintings then represent a different moment in time than that of the music. They too, are sort of a diary, but independent from the music. They have their own internal psychology.
The Celia Cruz painting illustrates the song Mi Bomba Sonó, the first track on an album called La Tierna, Conmovedora, Bamboleadora. The album consists of sons, boleros, criollas, and bombas. Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso de la Santísima Trinidad known simply as Celia Cruz, the Queen of salsa, was born in Cuba in 1925, immigrated to the United States in 1959, and died there in 2003. The event associated with Mi Bomba Sonó was a dance party on Thanksgiving 2013 when I picked this Celia Cruz record somewhat randomly from a stack of recently bought Latin records. I don't think I had ever played it before, but it sure turned out a good pick for dancing. We played the whole record, every track danceable. We had no idea when we were dancing a son, a bomba, or a criolla.

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