Music cannot be seen, only heard and felt, so it’s never obvious how a visual artist might represent it. Photographs of musicians only ever go so far. Betty Heredia, working primarily with marker on bristol board, has evolved an invigorating style at once synesthetically connected to sound and illustrative of music-making in process. Created in real time at musical performances of all types, as well as while listening to recordings, her drawings fill the page with what seems at first like an impenetrable field of hues and marks—wild and fabulous, but what? Look closer and the figures of bassists, trumpeters and drummers coalesce, becoming the players of the music whose colorful vibrations fill the air around them, which is to say the entirety of the picture plane. That’s what some music looks like: acid green swoops, blue scribbles and orange scratches for a jazz set by Jeff Parker; thick hot pink lines, black swirls and sharp light blue strokes for one by Isaiah Collier. Close your eyes and listen, open them and see.
—Lori Waxman 10/14/2023 3:59 PM