To Air is Human


Artwork Notes:

Written on April 21, 2020

The name of the band that played that night I painted this was Terrapin Flyer if I remember correctly- a Grateful Dead cover band. I never was all that into the ol’ GD, but that’s not to say I don’t appreciate their music, so it was a ton of fun to hear those familiar tunes played loud and live as they should be. I was in the back of the hall painting with my back to the stage so I never really saw them up there, I was just absorbed in the movement and music and the somewhat troubling scene unfolding on this canvas before my eyes. But the band did a great job and from where I stood and how I experienced the whole thing, Jerry himself may as well have been up there.

But that was before this wave of fear and death began to sweep over the entire world. Looking at this painting now gives me the eebie jeebies. Why can’t I just paint happy trees all the time? What undercurrent was this tapping into anyway? Was this art imitating life, or is this life imitating art?

Either way, here we are now. My heart is breaking for all the live music that is just not happening anymore. As an artist, of course I am concerned for my livelihood in the face of the hard years to come, but then then I think of the musicians severed from their audiences, let alone any income from the gigs they used to rely upon. How long will it be before shows can be booked again? Even if the stores and galleries are re-opened, won’t large public gatherings be the last thing to remain banned for a much longer time? And even without all this, there wasn’t there some legal mess of a new law regarding gig workers as employees that was looming over the entire live music industry here? Dark days indeed.

I miss the music.

-Matt Beard




Artwork Information:


Artwork Title: "To Air is Human"
Original Size: 36" x 36"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2015

Additional Artwork Information:


Method: Live Art
Location/Event: With Terrapin Flyer @ Arcata Theater Lounge, Arcata, CA
Date Painted: 11/15/2015


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