Since the early 2000s, British-born, Las Vegas-based artist Tim Bavington has translated rock and roll music into brightly colored, abstract paintings. Hypnotic and rhythmic, the varying widths of the stripes relate to the sound’s length, whether it is a guitar solo or full song. Here, titles serve as clues to music by the Rolling Stones, Cream, the Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix, all of which form the foundation of each painting. In Rock & Roll Abstraction, Bavington’s complex musical compositions become plausible visible surrogates for music.
Systematic and improvisational, Bavington’s process begins with studying sheet music. A colored chord wheel, a tool that he created, pairs musical notes with specific colors—by turning the wheel he selects the color values for each work. He first creates studies on paper to finalize the color selections before moving to canvas, where he applies synthetic acrylic paint with an airbrush to achieve a greater visual impact.
In The Best of Me, for example, wide bands of a Caribbean cool-like blue bookend the stripes, indicating the note’s length. Over time, Bavington deconstructs a complete music track, as visible in A Kind of Magic, where edge-to-edge stripes reverberate across the canvas. For Bavington, the abstract paintings do not replicate a song nor are they a literal translation, but rather serve as musical analogies to his favorite things: color, painting, and music.
– Guest Curator, Jaime DeSimone