WENTWORTH GALLERY IS PROUD TO EXCLUSIVELY PRESENT THE ARTWORK OF THE LEGENDARY GRATEFUL DEAD DRUMMER.
ONE MAN'S QUEST TO CHANGE THE WORLD THROUGH VIBRATION
Vibrational Expressionism – The Creation of a Movement
Expressionism is the depiction of emotional experiences through art.
Music is the depiction of emotional experiences through vibration and rhythm.
The fine art of Mickey Hart, combines the two into art that transforms the vibrations of the universe into a powerful and emotional artistic journey. Hart’s music is more than just vibration, and his art is more than just Expressionism: together they create these unique and thought provoking works of art.
Come see these unique pieces transform the earth’s spectrum of natural rhythms + vibrations into visual masterpieces at select Wentworth Gallery locations.
Mickey Hart has always looked at the universe’s most primal forces in his journey as a musician.
“In the beginning there was noise. Noise begat rhythm. First light, then sound. And rhythm begat everything else. We were born in noise, in chaos. The first sound in the universe was pure noise. The Big Bang.”
- Mickey Hart
In his groundbreaking album Mysterium Tremendum (2012), Hart takes sounds created billions of years ago and then uses his music as a delivery system. As Hart explains, “Dancing with the infinite universe. I can’t resist that.”
In addition to looking at rhythm and music on a cosmic level, Hart also sees vibrations on a very human and social level. “We are multidimensional rhythm machines embedded in a universe of rhythm. We pulse, we spin constantly, dancing with the vibratory world around us.”
“This is the primal experience of rhythm: How we use sound and light to understand the universe and each other.”
- Mickey Hart
Fascinated with science, Mickey Hart cites the cosmos and neurology as sources of his inspiration. “The original impetus for my work was cosmic in nature. I wanted to find out how to listen to the Sun, Earth, Moon, Saturn, and Aurora Borealis, and translate them into visuals. Then I realized these things cannot be born without vibrations. So I started using vibrations to create the paintings one by one. Or rather I should say, I birthed them. They were born by vibratory methods. That’s the baseline of my cosmic art.”
It took Hart several years to master his Vibrational Expressionism artwork. First, Hart had to invent a vessel to capture his vibrations and transmit it onto canvas. Thus he created “Rainbow”, a fully movable platform where he would place his canvas before he started painting. “Rainbow” would literally transfer Hart’s vibrations onto canvas. He plays paintings into existence with musically-conjured vibrations.
At first glance it looks like Hart uses sweeping brushstrokes to produce the mesmerizing swirls, but Hart lets vibrations do that work. He sets drums and other instruments in motion to create rhythms that vibrate the canvas as he releases paint onto it. As soon as paint hits the surface, the vibration process unwinds a maze of color and light. He times it, turns it, and uses specific formulas, knowing where and how long the paint can glide before it sets. The result is reflective of the chaotic, cosmic wondrousness he consistently seeks to unlock.
Hart’s journey through science while riding on the back of music and art began with personal experience. His grandmother had advanced Alzheimer’s and couldn’t speak. When he tapped a rhythm on her knee something magical happened, “... she spoke my name and I realized then that rhythm had medicinal properties. When your body is in rhythm you are healthy, when the rhythm is broken the body is broken.”
Hart regularly visits the lab of Dr. Adam Gazzaley, a leading neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco. Hart works with Dr. Gazzaley to study rhythm’s effect on the mind, hoping to push music therapy into the realm of hard science. The hope is to administer music like medicine to damaged brains.
Hart even testified in front of the Senate in 1991 about rhythm and aging.
Like his music, Hart’s art also has a profound impact on the brain of the viewer. As Hart described, “It should get you high. They’re psychedelic, iridescent, all kinds of little things are hidden in the paintings. And I hope that it lights up people’s consciousness. They should feel happy. It’s meant to uplift the spirit.”