Sunday, August 5, 2012

Brian draws inspiration from Spain

Media Moment: Musicians as Artists book
Queen-related: Brian featured

I remember flipping through a book called Actors as Artists many years ago and seeing such thespians as Burt Reynolds and Gene Hackman gracing its pages with their paintings. So when I saw Musicians as Artists, I wondered if anyone from Queen would show up.

We all know that Freddie went to art school and presumably left some kind of tangible legacy of works behind, but he was no where to be found in the pages of this compilation. I did find an entry for Brian, however, which I did not expect to see given what we know about his personal interests.

The subject matter of Brian’s woodcut offers, I believe, some insight into what was going in his life at time. Obviously, Brian was involved with the Seville Guitar Legends concert in Spain in October of 1991 so this woodcut was made the summer before his appearance in Seville, according to Brian’s quote in the book:

“I always find excursions into visual art refreshing. While it’s being created, my own music is something quite obsessive; it’s always jostling my mind. Pictures let me out into a wider world. This one was done with my girls in California one summer.”

I think we can assume that when he and his girls did this woodcut he had been invited to the Guitar Legends concerts so it was on his mind in the months leading up to the show.

Was this flamenco guitar image a result of him doing research into Spanish culture and thus is an homage to the host city? Whatever the case, the type of guitar he depicts is an interesting diversion from what we’d expect from a rock guitarist — no electric guitar here.

I suspect that Brian was still on a flamenco high from Queen’s collaboration with Steve Howe when Innuendo was released in February of that same year. That, and his upcoming invitation to the Seville concert, probably put Brian in a Spanish state of mind. All of which would be rendered moot shortly after the Seville concert when Freddie died a month later.

I wonder if Brian did any visual art in response to Freddie’s death?


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