The music of Ravi Shankar, with its insistent beat and evocative melodies, has always been a welcome companion in the studio. His work helped me to focus and find my own rhythm while painting.
When I heard the news of his death in 2012, I knew I had to create a painting that would embody some of the qualities I loved in his music, and also be my way of saying good-bye. Rise, Rave, Rise is that painting. Of course it has a strong horizontal rhythm (playing on a theme of strings, much like the sitar itself), and stronger colors than I usually use, again in deference to the strong sound of the music and more saturated colors of India. I also included the spiral of Tantric art, symbolizing energy going out (and in), much as Ravi’s music travelled into our hearts and out into the universe. The largest spiral in the painting is the spiral galaxy, while smaller spirals work as a border and find their way into the spaces between the “strings.” In a band along the bottom of the paintings are notes, the ABC’s of his composition. I thank you, Ravi, and feel I can still hear your music rising through the atmosphere and leaving a trail of magic as it heads out beyond our galaxy.
Below are close-ups from the painting.