Ode to Jon Langford (and Interdisciplinary Aesthetics) Part 2

Jon Langford, “Don’t Be Afraid” mixed media painting

In Part 1 of my Ode to Jon Langford, I only mentioned his visual art passingly.  But his artwork is not second to his music.  The visual and sonic are entangled in the best kind of way.  As Langford wrote, in his song “Pill Sailor“:

“These ropes are all knotted and tangled round me, I’m a sailor who wandered a little too far from the sea…”

And in an interview on Blurt (“A Fat Welsh Bastard”) Langford told Lee Zimmerman:

My theory is that the art and the music all come from the same place in my brain. This may or may not be true, but I have convinced myself.  And it all flows back and forth quite nicely…. killer bees pollinating Venus fly-traps for ever and a day!

This image (“Don’t Be Afraid”)  has been haunting me since seeing his work up close at the Clay Street Press in Cincinnati.  It’s hard to convey his jolts and textures on a computer screen.  They’re iconic and distressed and distressing and and there are also these gorgeous hopeful bits of aquablue everywhere.  I guess it’s just more of that life stuff seeping through, the stuff that is usually the reason an artist keeps at it regardless of the tendency to have to climb up steep hills to do anything aside from the default.

A wee wearable print of Langford’s, a gift from my husband, from RockCandybyHelen on Etsy.

Maybe my vision of interdisciplinary aesthetics really comes down to not accepting defaults.  Put another way, if we stop thinking, what is the point?

Seems to me the point is to make things that weren’t there in the first place.  To make things from nothing.  Is that what making art is?  Music?  Writing?  There’s stuff (somewhere, in a tube, in the brain, somewhere we find it) and we make new somethings.

The stuff and the brain or soul or gut collide and make new somethings.