Acrylic on canvas
90 x 90 cm
Jazz vs Classical education. Here we see my youngest son Zac sitting innocently on the floor offering to the world his vulnerable self. He will be confronted throughout his life with a myriad of choices which consequently could possibly generate in him, stark terror, anxiety, crisis, trauma and hopefully rebelliousness. Becoming a person in one’s own right is a struggle. But it is that struggle on the journey to self-hood, that will defines us. The more self-awareness one has, the more alive one is. On the left of the canvas we can see the incredibly gifted tenor sax player John Coltrane, one of Zac's idols. Jazz in a nut shell is freedom of expression. Freedom is attained when we accept the realities not by blind necessity but by choice. Yes, Zac is well aware. On the right hand side of the painting we see almost faded behind vertical lines a Fifer, an homage to Manet, representing a diehard classical education. The tricky part about Jazz is, that in order to unleash your full potential one must learn the classical fundamentals of harmony and scales. Now, one requires all the tools and techniques in order to find ones own potentialities. Scales and forms are the guarantors of creative fireworks. Charly Parker said: You've got to learn your instrument. Then, practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail. Well, struggle is the road to self-knowledge. It is only though struggle that we will find our limitations. And back to old Charly Parker: Don't play the saxophone. Let it play you.