Using Sculptures and Sound to Convey Touch

A photo of the inside of a grand piano.

A grand piano, as shown from the inside.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Kevin Beasley just had his first solo art exhibition in New York City at the Casey Kaplan gallery. It was the first exhibition in their new gallery space. Beasley grew up in Virginia but moved to New York City for his art. He received his BFA in Detroit and continued on to receive an MFA from Yale. He has had his works displayed in several New York City museums.

Beasley prefers to play with the sense of touch. He is both a sculptor and a musician, but he is particularly concerned with the tactile effects of his art. For his solo exhibition, he put small microphones in every single key of an old Steinway piano from the late 1800’s.

These microphones pick up more of a piano performance, things that would normally go unheard. All the microphones are connected to a soundboard that can be manipulated during the performance. All of this is done to create a unique interaction between Beasley, the piano performers, the audience, and an extraordinary old piano.

Most of his sculptures feature one specific object or material. Beasley then “gives structure to these materials using a mixture of polyurethane foam and resin” in the finite time he has before the resin hardens.

In this resin, one can see the movements used to create the various shapes and figures. It’s a physical history of the sculptures creation. It is important to him that each object used in a sculpture has some sort of personal connection to him. He describes how he makes each piece:

“I have some story of where everything came from and why. That’s the starting point, and the work sort of opens up from there,” Beasley explained.

He also considers the process of creation to be just as important as the final product. Even if all steps or parts aren’t evident to the viewer, they all contribute to the reception and interpretation of the work of art.

Keep an eye out for Beasley, as he as one of New York City’s artists to watch.


About Alex Holt

I am a local artist from Brooklyn, NY. I love art, design, books, photography, gardening and blogging.
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