Throughout time, music has always inspired art, and vice versa. The amount of reinvigorated Viennese artists that ran out of the opera house and into their studios after hearing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was rumored to be in the dozens. More recently, Lou Reed has gone on record as saying that not only was The Velvet Underground's music inspired by the art of Andy Warhol, but that the band likely would not even have existed had it not been for their eccentric friend.
And when it comes to Alejandro Carballo—whose art CityBeat chose to coincide with this week's San Diego Music Awards—one can't work without the other. Within his work, you not only see hints of artists like Joan Miró and Wassily Kandinsky, but equal amounts of Frank Rossalino and Miles Davis.
“I am heavily inspired by my passion for music. Music inspires my art, and art inspires my music,” says Carballo, who started doing art and playing trombone when he was a kid in Tampico Tamaulipas, Mexico. “Most people wonder how I can be so creative, both with music and my passion for art. They might come to my recording studio to work on an album and see all the artwork. They can't believe that I paint, too.”
And much of Carballo's work, which has been displayed all over the world, from Australia to Argentina, has stayed on the music theme. The piece on this week's cover of CityBeat, “Piano Chroma 3,” is from his Piano Chroma series, which was created for collectors in L.A. and also for display in music recording studios. There's also the Jazz Icons series—large-scale portraits of iconic American jazz artists—as well as the Latin Jazz series, which is slightly more abstract. And when he's not playing with his band at Bondi, the Gaslamp restaurant, on Wednesday nights or sitting in with Luis Miguel at Anthology, he's working on a much more daunting project, the 1001 Paintings series, which will be displayed at a gallery in Mexico City next year. He just finished No. 436.
“I love to paint. Sometimes I get frustrated that there are not enough hours in the day to complete all the dreams that I have,” Carballo says. “But that's life—you have to prioritize things according to what's going on at the time. I spend every day writing music and painting.”
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