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06. Banjo Player (48" x 60" x 12") $10,000

06. Banjo Player (48" x 60" x 12") $10,000

Macey Center, Socorro, NM

Music is a universal ageless language found in all cultures throughout history. I like to imagine myself dancing to the music of this old man's nimble fingers, and to think of others like him that have passed on the gift of music through countless generations.

This piece illustrates how fabrics chosen for their color and texture can be transformed into common items like a wood pencil with a good eraser, or a bologna cheese sandwich on wheat bread. The three dimensional wrinkled face has an open mouth with individual fabric teeth.

Materials Used:
frame: wood covered with straw place mats. Plexiglas.
sky: layers of blue fabrics patched and appliqu├ęd like a traditional American crazy quilt.
shirt: plaid pattern made by yarns placed between opaque and shear pieces of fabric fused together.
fabric and embroidery details: pencil, notepad and "Redman" tobacco in the front pocket, wrinkles on face and hands, beard growth, chest hairs, fingernails, whole wheat bologna cheese sandwich and ants.
fly: plastic wrap.
face: layers of different colors of netting used in flower shop bouquets create rough textured skin.
background fields, mountains: hand woven fabrics, used flash bulbs, plastic toy horse.
banjo:
round body, rusted metal scraps, chrome plated belt, hair pins, polarized electrical wire, plastic tubes cut from reed like window shades (attaching vellum diaphragm); vellum,unbleached canvas, lace; neck, each fret is a different fabric. Slightly different colors, textures, and patterns give depth. Some detail embellishments include: a silver treble clef pin and jewelry chain, small fabric label "ROAD TO GOOD HEALTH, Up in the Morning Early", nails, an old music box key, and plastic Champaign cork, strings: colored telephone wire.

banjo
a fretted stringed instrument having a narrow neck and a hollow circular body with a stretch diaphragm of vellum upon which the bridge rests.
(Akin to Jamaican English banja, fiddle; probably akin to Kimbudu, Tshiluba mbanza, a plucked stringed instrument.)
vellum
1. a. a fine parchment made from calfskin, lambskin, or kidskin and used for the pages and binding of books.
b. a work written or printed on this parchment.
2. A heavy off-white fine quality paper resembling this parchment.
(Middle English velim, from Old French velin, from veel, calf.)
bluegrass
1. Any of various grasses of the genus Poa, including many valuable lawn and pasture plants, such as Kentucky bluegrass, and also some weeds.
2. Music. A type of folk music that originated in the southern United States, typically played on banjos and guitars and characterized by rapid tempos and jazzlike improvisations.

world history
Banjo, a stringed instrument of the lute family, with an open-backed round body consisting or a circular wood hoop over which is stretched a vellum belly, a long, narrow, fretted neck, and metal or metal-wound gut strings. The strings run from a tailpiece, over a bridge, and up the neck to rear tuning pegs. Five strings are typical. The only Western stringed instrument with a vellum belly, the banjo originated in Africa and was brought to the Americas in the 17th century by black slaves.


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