Music mixed with imagery properly done can take us elsewhere, be it imagination or a vivid memory; it immediately puts us in another place or time. Those potent sounds can make us feel; it tugs at our deepest emotions, joy or sorrow, perhaps a sense of comfort or even pure dread and fear. It has power over us, it inspires, and when combined with the right visuals, the effect is euphoric, indeed intoxicating.
With their current exhibition titled Synesthesia, Rehs Contemporary (of Rehs Galleries Inc.) has mixed art with music in a manner reminiscent of MTV videos, not seen since 1983 when MTV burst onto the scene and music videos became all the rage. Then, for some inexplicable reason, MTV (short for music television) gave up its expensive mini feature films using music, and replaced them with what we now know as reality television. Uggh! And so music and art remained seperated, until now.
If you can present art with the right music, you can sell the art, as has been proved with this exhibition. The aim of Synesthesia is to harness the power of these combined mediums with a question; how can music influence art? Or, in other words, how can we use music to sell art?
Here's our musical score to this exhibition.......Kah-ching!
How can music influence art?
That’s a big question for an artist, actually, that’s a big question for most people, and more a biological question than anything, and perhaps not one that can be fully answered with a singular exhibition, or a single article. I’d even go so far as to say that Tracey Emin, Roger Sanchez and Albert Einstein combined, would have an interesting time with that question.
But nonetheless, a group of young talented artists with some only in their second year at the Ani Art Academies, were brave enough to take up the challenge, and guess what, on all accounts, the exhibition has been a huge success.
According to Lance Rehs, Vice President and Director of REHS Galleries Inc., the opening event on April 9th was jam-packed with an intrigued and inspired clientele, along with many of the participating artists themselves. The crowd wore headphones as they made their way through the galleries, usually pulling out a single earplug after each work to discuss something with friends, or even random strangers.
Most striking of all he told us, was how natural the reaction of the crowd was, when they were instructed to grab a pair of head-phones and have a listen. “Each patron's face wore a different expression, all equally pensive and dramatic” Lance said.
There are comparisons to be made between art exhibitions and concerts; both events bring people together with a common interest, and both events provide a ‘buzz’, on some sort of neurological level, so there is a natural fit there, an imbrication of the senses which can enhance appreciation for the work, and help nail the sale.
Alyssa Rehs, co-director of the gallery, pointed out that some patrons wept when they heard the song that matched the visual representation, some laughed - some people downright studied the piece as they hummed the tune to the carefully curated soundtrack, as if to trace the piece with both their ears and eyes at the same time. Most notably, the additional musical dimension made people stop, look and listen, and occasionally gyrate, on the spot.
The music is intended to enhance each piece, bringing the art to life; and in many cases, completely change how the viewer sees and understands the work. Does it work? Well Lance and Alyssa seem to think so, and with 23 works sold, a number of works on hold, and all of the artists exhibiting being ecstatic with the reception and subsequent sales of their works, who can argue with that?
We think that Alyssa and Lance have hit on something here, entertainment sells, and a crossover of music and art is something which feeds into the Millenial phsyche. Think Burning Man.......
With inspiration being drawn from genres ranging from classical music to electronica and rock & roll to hip-hop - the Exhibit is, according to Alyssa, “audibly agnostic.” Most importantly, Rehs orchestrated (no pun intended) an interesting and unusual way in which to experience visual art, and to all intents and purposes, a pleasantly penetrating sensory overload which has provided support for Ani Artists early on in their careers, and which is to be experienced through to 29 April 2016, at REHS Galleries Inc., 5 East 57th street, 8th floor, NYC.
The Synesthesia exhibit runs through April 29, 2016 at REHS Galleries Inc., 5 East 57th street, 8th floor, NYC. All works can be viewed on the exhibitions page at www.RehsCGI.com and the full soundtrack can be accessed through iTunes or the provided Spotify playlist under the essay on the exhibition page.
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