Fertility Piece

Fertility Piece
Alfred Bright

Artist Biography
Acquisition Number: 76.11
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 60 1/2" x 45 1/2"
Date: 1975
Credit: Purchased by the Canton Museum of Art with matching funds from The National Endowment for the Arts

Bright’s works were studies in the color of music. He began painting in the 1960s, when, as a jazz flute player, he would accompany his brother, a jazz pianist, to gigs at universities and art museums. After that, he began painting to live music — classical concert performances, ballets, church organists, bands, and even spoken word performances. "Fertility Piece" is the product of a performance by Art Blakely and the Jazz Messengers, created by Bright at the venue while the musicians were playing live. "I go to the stage with a blank canvas, no pre-described idea or notion as to image or color, and I try to paint the color of the music, the energy of the sound and the feedback — the ebb and flow of the spectators." - Alfred Bright Bright said his experience as a musician helped guide his color choices: "Since I play music, I can actually feel the color of the music. In certain tonal ranges, my palette will shift." He said that, in this way, the whole act of painting became an out-of-body experience: "I’m not thinking, I’m not planning. It’s as though my hand is being driven by a muse that dictates the creative process."