David Aylsworth

Gallery Affiliations: Inman Gallery

Region: West

Words make you think a thought, music makes you feel a feeling, but a song makes you feel a thought.
–E. Y. “Yip” Harburg

Painting for me is a personal activity that entails responses to previous actions on a canvas as well as the physical qualities of paint. It is almost exclusively nonverbal, drawing on images that surround me and inhabit my mental and physical space. The forms I paint usually involve a cluster of characters that interact with each other in a specific but not easily identifiable manner, in a theatrical setting that is equally specific and also not easily identifiable.

To bring the nonverbal interaction to an audience, I quote others’ words when I give the painting a title—most often referencing lyrics from musical theater. Taken from another context, they are meant to reference the music and plot of their source and, for those who recognize the reference, plant a song in viewers’ heads while they look at the painting.