Artist and Musician Biographies


Mural by Bansky

We will discuss artists and musicians on this website as they and their works are related to the social and cultural issues of their time and in our own lives. We also address the developments of technology and how they have influenced the styles of art and music and opened doors for new styles. Electrification of guitars and other instruments, for instance, made a big difference in the styles of music. Later, video made it possible to visualize the narrative of a musical work. These developments also influenced artists, as they began to work with media other than paint, steel, stone, paper, and other traditional materials, opting for anything from projected light to computer programming.

Overall, we want you to see relationships between people, between people and things, and the space in which they exist. We cannot include everybody from contemporary music and art. It could be overwhelming if we did. Instead, we select samples of art and music and examine the ideas behind them, which helps you understand other works you see on your own.

What is here?

This website contains biographies of artists and musicians with links to websites so you can learn more about them. Students tend to come to class saying they are more familiar with music than the art we discuss. Music seems common in our experiences, especially in huge music streaming services where you can download recordings or stream them. The abundance of these resources is enormous compared to 40 years ago and there is an overwhelming amount information to sort through. Cable subscribers, for example, might watch only a handful out of 1,000 or so chanels, and they rarely have time to see them all, even once.

Portable Art and Music?

Since the 20th century, recorded music has usually been portable. Multimedia also can take the monotony out of automobile and aircraft travel. In fact, contemporary automobiles and aircraft are set up like theaters. Recorded music and visual forms turn up in many ordinary and special experiences.

At today's health clubs, most people get lost in their music as they exercise and improve themselves. In this way, musical forms become associated with the "art" of self-improvement. Many other art forms are at work there. When people shape their bodies, practice yoga and a number and other activities, the audio and visual media become part of a total experience. Beyond the gym, many people would know where to find a museum and probably see many references to art around them. This is why it is important to look at cultural relationships in art and music, and in their context.

Early Influences

Sometimes it is easier to make sense of different genres of art and music if we know about the cultural changes that brought the forms we see and hear, today. For these reasons we will step back to earlier kinds of art and music and discuss what conditions influenced those works. Some artists and musicians will state that they were inspired by past genres of art or music. For example, the neo-expressionist, punk, and new wave musicians played in "garage bands," like the early rock musicians of the 1960s. Others would say they were trying to put in to material form, an idea or intrisic concept. Art and music never remain the same because these changes always occur in a seamless, fluid process.

It will help you to understand our framework if you read the next sections of the Introduction about movement and space.

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