Miles

Miles

John

John

Dizzy

Dizzy

Jazz

If you've ever taken a bus, trolley, train, cab, or another form of public transportation, you most likely needed a pass or ticket to board. For a bit over a year and a half in my life, this is exactly what I experienced.

 

Taking the trolley into town to my place of employment required that I buy a brightly colored paper ticket to board. No sooner did the routine of purchasing and using the tickets begin, had the action of saving them after their one time use start as well. Not having any grand plan for them -except a gut feeling- I collected the used passes throughout my year and-a-half stint.

 

All during the collection process, I mulled over the tickets; the shape, color, thickness, etc. and kept tossing around ideas.

 

One day, in the late spring/early summer of 2007, an idea struck me: Miles Davis! Jazz!

 

Jazz to me is the most colorful of all music. And what better way to pay homage to Miles through my eyes, then by immortalizing him in a piece made from my pastel-colored, used bus passes!

 

He couldn't be reached for comment, so I pushed ahead.

 

Taking an already stretched canvas, prepping it with black acrylic, and using a black and white paper mock-up of the image, my piece began to take shape.

 

Using tiny scissors and clear acrylic medium, "Miles" came to life.  After Miles (the first piece) was completed, it would be another six years until I completed the series.

 

In 2013, using almost every single bit of ticket I had collected during my trolley rides into town, and with a portrait of "John" Coltrane, and finally (and most challenging) "Dizzy" Gillespie, the 3 part series came to a close.

 

Side note:

When completing Dizzy, i had just enough neon green tickets to finish his jacket. While I had scraps left over from the other colors, every piece of neon green was used. With the last piece i had being placed near his cuff, barely completing his jacket!

Materials:

Used & Discarded:  Brightly colored & coated, thick paper bus passes

Virgin:  Pre-stretched canvas, clear acrylic medium, black and white printed paper

© 2004-2020 Martin Thomas Smyczek II

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