What does a painter, who is also a music fanatic, do to add a touch of melody to his canvas? Gregor Hildebrandt, whose exhibition titled These Flowers Will Never Die will be exhibited in Mumbai, has found the answer. The German artist makes great use of pre-recorded cassette tapes as material in his works. Hildebrandt records the song on a cassette and then cuts the tape into strips. He then glues these strips onto the canvas. “I developed this technique during my studies in Mainz, while working on an artist book. I would first record the song on cassettes and then, in the studio, I would glue it onto the pages. I am interested in this transformation of a song recorded on a small cassette to a large black gestural canvas,” explains Hildebrandt, who is fascinated by the intangibility of music. “The fact that it cannot be presented to the eye, lends a certain mystery to the cassette tape,” says the artist, whose works are titled according to the song recorded on the tape. Paintings on display include Blood Flowers by the band The Cure.
How is painting and music connected, we ask. “In my case, the song which is recorded on the tape, becomes a part of the painting. The composition depends on the length, or duration, of the song. Sometimes the pictures quote fragments from the content of the songs, albeit in a quite abstract manner,” says Hildebrandt, who listens to Leonard Cohen, Brel, The Cure and The Smiths. “If there is a song I take a special liking to, then I keep listening to it over and over again. It thus becomes part of my life. In my youth, I read Hermann Hesse’s “Gertrud” and would simultaneously listen to Schubert’s 9th Symphony, so, for me, both are strongly connected to each other, and is such that the mood of the music carries the mood of the book, and vice versa,” says the artist.
The works titled Flowers of Good and The Dark Beauty Of Mistake by artist Gregor Hildebrandt
When: February 5 to April 26, 11 am to 6 pm (Tuesday to Saturday)
At: Gallery Isa, opposite Lion Gate, Kala Ghoda