By Raymundo Muñoz
Art and music recently filled the walls of Cold Crush in an especially harmonious way for Thomas “Detour” Evans‘ collaborative exhibition “Art and Decibels.” While most art shows have some music playing nonchalantly (and sometimes not-so-nonchalantly) in the background, the connection between the two forms of expression are implied at best; in such context music is there to fill space, to set the mood. Rarely anything else. Denver artist Thomas Evans, though, sees more to the relationship–more possibilities. By using electrically conductive paint and a healthy dose of gadgetry, Evans creates inventive works of art that double as unique MIDI controllers that can trigger samples through a connected audio system. What this means: you can play his paintings. It’s something akin to tapping out a beat on a touchscreen. On the surface Evans’ portrait work is most often hip hop-inspired and well-executed, definitely worth enjoying in a visual way, but behind the canvas is an interface seemingly more at home inside a computer. Making his work more than a technical wonder, though, requires performative elements: in this case, collaborators and music producers Felix Fast4ward, DJ A-L, Mikey FreshBeats, and DJ Cavem. Trading performances song-to-song and sometimes playing together, each producer brought his own lively musical stylings–in effect, elevating the works to their ultimate purpose. Summed up by Evans: “You know those art shows that say, ‘Don’t touch?’ This is the exact opposite of that. This is art for the people.” Pictures are from the Dec. 5 event; see more of Thomas Evans’ work at iamdetour.com.
Felix Fast4ward playing a Thomas Evans painting of himself
DJ A-L playing a Thomas Evans painting of himself
Mikey FreshBeats playing a Thomas Evans painting of an MPC 2000 sampler
By Thomas Evans
“Holes” in milk crate covered in electrically conductive paint