Miles Davis: The Collected Artwork

Overview


One of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century, Miles Davis was a man of many talents. Around 1980, he turned to sketching and painting to, as he explained, keep his ?mind occupied with something when [he was] not playing music.? This hobby quickly turned into a serious passion, and Davis approached it with the same obsessive creativity he applied to music. The result is an impressive archive of unique and evocative visual work showcasing the varied skill of ...
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Overview


One of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century, Miles Davis was a man of many talents. Around 1980, he turned to sketching and painting to, as he explained, keep his “mind occupied with something when [he was] not playing music.” This hobby quickly turned into a serious passion, and Davis approached it with the same obsessive creativity he applied to music. The result is an impressive archive of unique and evocative visual work showcasing the varied skill of this legendary artist.

Throughout the 1980s, Davis studied regularly with New York painter Jo Gelbard, developing a distinct graphic style. Incorporating bright colors and geometric shapes, his art is reminiscent of work by Pablo Picasso as well as African tribal art, the historical influences he cited during occasional interviews on the subject. Author Scott Gutterman sat down with Miles Davis himself before he died in 1991 and the artist’s own commentary accompanies this remarkable showcase of his work.

Sadly, very few of his pieces were exhibited during Miles Davis’s lifetime. Over the last two decades, the Estate of Miles Davis has worked with gallery owners and private parties to assemble a comprehensive collection of the musician’s artwork. Many celebrities are among the most adamant collectors, including Quincy Jones, who offers a foreword to the book. This long-overdue celebration is a treasure for art lovers as well as music aficionados who will appreciate the window into the life of this creative genius.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

PubWest Book Design Awards 2014: Art Books, Gold Award

“…this is indeed a wonderful collection, with excellent production standards.” —All About Jazz

“In his last decade, the trumpeter studied painting and grew obsessed with it. Many of his canvases are reproduced in this lavish book: vibrantly colored, at times echoing Picasso and African art.”—San Jose Mercury News

“Would you look twice if these works weren’t by Miles? Yes, you would. So put on some Miles music and settle in for a gallery tour. Images selected from the gorgeously produced Miles Davis: The Collected Artwork.”—The Daily Beast

Library Journal
01/01/2014
Miles Davis (1926–91), one of the greatest American jazzmen, is renowned for the creativity of his music. While there have been some controversies regarding aspects of his private life, there can be no doubts about his artistry. It may surprise many people to discover that he also produced drawings and paintings. It is not unusual for famous people to dabble in art—President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Winston Churchill are two examples—but their work is generally considered amateurish and valued mostly by association with their creator. Arts and music writer Gutterman's (deputy director, Neue Galerie New York) volume suggests that Davis's artworks rise above the fame of their creator and reveal further evidence of his creative genius. Commentary accompanying what is primarily a visual catalog of drawings and paintings is provided by several friends, relatives, and an art critic, and there is a foreword by composer, producer, and musician Quincy Jones. VERDICT An intriguing look at a little-known aspect of Miles Davis. Any library with an interest in modern art or jazz music would find this book of value.—Eugene C. Burt, Seattle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608872237
  • Publisher: Insight Editions LLC
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Pages: 204
  • Sales rank: 359,408
  • Product dimensions: 11.30 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Scott Gutterman writes about music and art for Vogue, Artforum, The New Yorker, GQ, and other publications. He is the deputy director of the Neue Galerie New York. He lives in New York City. Quincy Jones is an American record producer, conductor, arranger, film composer, television producer, and trumpeter. He lives in Los Angeles. Vince Wilburn, Jr. is the nephew of Miles Davis. He lives in Los Angeles. Erin Davis is Miles Davis' son and Cheryl Davis is Miles Davis' daughter. They live in Los Angeles and Henderson, NV, respectively.
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