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Rhythmic Cubism?

When asked what I paint, it is difficult to describe in words. I typically use the word cubism at some point in the conversation, but, what becomes difficult is explaining my intent to convey music and musical ideas through my paintings.

Because I have been a musician for decades, I tend to think of my work through a musical lens, and because I am a drummer, I tend to think with an emphasis on rhythm. Rhythm in visual art is typically defined as a combination of elements of art (line, shape, space, value, form, texture, and colour) repeated, but with variations.

In my Rhythm Paintings, I stretch the academic definition to reflect the way I use rhythm. My intent is to move the viewer’s eyes through the painting using rhythm, or repeated elements or motives (motifs) that vary throughout the piece. Through less dense areas, the eye can move long distances quickly, and in more dense areas, the eyes will stay in the same area for longer periods of time, but will make many short fast movements. Unlike rhythm in music, no two viewers will experience the rhythm in the same order, and the work will unfold in different lengths of times.

There is no term for cubism with an emphasis on rhythm, so I have coined the term Rhythmic Cubism to describe my current body of abstract and non-representational paintings.

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