Monday, April 12, 2010

Perfect Pitch

The subject was "perfect pitch." There are few concepts as unvisual as music is. You can draw a violin, but a singer needs a musical note inside a voice balloon to establish that she isn't a dental patient. But how do you illustrate the idea beyond that? Perfect pitch is an instinct that goes beyond simple comprehension. I inverted the other singer to suggest that two people might imagine the same note differently. I underlined this by inverting the B into a G. To get to the abstractness of it, the subjectiveness of it, I needed to employ a more distorted line, more Max Beckmanish. The awkwardness of distorted figures forces the viewer to make sense of it rather than simply absorbing the obvious content. Glib cartoonishness would be too simple, too smooth for that. Inversion is a neat device I've used before. I did this for the Hartford Courant, under the able art direction of Melanie Shaffer.

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