The Art of Drums is the latest offering from Los Angeles art collective SceneFour, which is working with the likes of Guns ‘N Roses’ Matt Sorum, Def Leppard’s Rick Allen and Stephen Perkins from Jane’s Addiction to make images from the drummers’ legendary beat skills.
SceneFour has used long-exposure photography and magic glowing drumsticks to create the work. While the final artwork comes in canvas form — all the better for that celeb-style signing, of course — there isn’t a hint of paint in how the drumming movement is captured. Cory Danziger, the collective’s creative director, explains to Wired.co.uk: “We were inspired to go outside of the confines of oil or acrylic. We wanted to create a new, basically untapped medium that a visual artist could work with.”
SceneFour chose light to answer such a conundrum. Or rather, a lack of it, as the big-shot drummers are placed in pitch-dark rooms in non-reflective clothing (although one would assume black the only option for rock royalty) before doing what they do best with a range of lighted drumsticks in different colors and sizes. A camera captures the whole lot on a long-exposure shot, allowing a 30-second performance to be captured in one frame.
Following some artistic input from the drummer and post-production back in SceneFour’s studios, the drum movements are transformed from the digital negative into a solid work.
Cory told Wired.co.uk about the motivations behind the project: “The Art of Drums project began with the longing to bottle up rhythm and project it on canvas. Drum performance is inherently visual and is something that involves manipulating and working with time.”