Collection: Miles Davis

Miles Davis (1926-1991), is perhaps the most influential and creative jazz musician of the 20th-century. Jazz, being a unique American cultural music phenomenon (as is abstract expressionist painting). Davis ultimately demonstrated a cornucopia of many creative talents, to include painting.

Around 1980, Davis turned to sketching and painting to keep his creative mind constantly challenged. This filled the void when he wasn’t playing music during the 1980s. Davis studied regularly with New York painter, Jo Gelbard, and developed a distinct graphic style incorporating bright colors and geometric shapes.

His art is reminiscent of both African tribal influence, and possesses expressive elements like Pablo Picasso. His early 1980’s painting hobby quickly turned into an obsessive passion; and hence he soon became an accomplished abstract expressionist artist. The results were the creation of an impressive body of unique evocative works visually showcasing his rhythmic painterly skills and personal emotions.

He merged his art and musical talents by featuring his paintings on the covers of two late albums “Star People” (1983), and “Amanda” (1989). His oeuvre clearly demonstrates a visual code to “What do the jazz notes in Miles Davis music look like?” This small masterwork simply exemplifies all the best and signature elements of Davis‘s style.

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  • Self Portrait, circa 1984
    Miles Davis
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