Grateful Dead drummer creates art

November 21, 2008 7:18:59 PM PST
Drummer Mickey Hart is known as part of a legendary rock and roll band The Grateful Dead. He is also a musicologist, an environmentalist, and an artist. An exhibition of his work opens Saturday at Dennis Rae Fine Arts by San Francisco's Aquatic Park.

It is always about the rhythm, not just in music, but in nature and in art. There are large pieces of redwood that Mickey Hart has turned into sculptures.

"It's a meditation, it's also my hobby. It's my yoga. This is what I do to focus," says Hart.

Taking a break from his daily drumming, he finds the dramatic forms in the redwood forests. They are pieces often hidden covered in mud and vegetation.

"You have to feel something for it otherwise you'll pick up the whole forest and that's not the art form," says Hart.

His sculptures take months to complete.

"It's really a detailed and complicated cleaning process where you have to go in and not disturb the wood," says Hart.

It soon becomes a voyage of discovery.

"Because that's part of the adventure? the revelation of what they are, who they are," says Hart.

There is one wood sculpture he calls "One Fierce Chinese Dragon" and is one he's also transferred to canvas. Another one he calls "Ramrod" and it weighs 500 pounds.

"I've actually used it in concert," says Hart.

For Hart before sculptured pieces, there was bonsai.

"So this is how you got started?" asked ABC7's Don Sanchez.
"This is how I got started with the cavities and the architecture and the wonder of the shape of it," says Hart.

When a tree died, he didn't throw it away. In its wood form, it still lives.

"It's all rhythm, about the rhythm of things. The sound of things," says Hart. "It tells you about the impermanence of life. That's what all this stuff is about."

If you buy one, it will come with a recording of Mickey Hart drumming.


Load Comments