An exhibit by Steve Byram and Tim Berne
Opening Reception: April 15, 5PM
Featuring the drawings of Steve Byram and photographs by Tim Berne, Old and Unwise is based on a series of images Byram and Berne compiled for their 2015 art book, Spare. Byram’s drawing are composed digitally from an assortment of source drawings—or “spare parts”—while Berne’s photographs were taken during his spare time while on tour. Though the two work primarily in different disciplines—Byram a lauded visual artist and Berne an accomplished saxophonist, composer, and photographer—the pair have collaborated for more than 30 years, merging music and art in a unique creative partnership.
Tim Berne and his innovative ensemble, Snakeoil, play Painted Bride on April 15 at 7pm. Click here for more info.
A Statement from Steve Byram:
When I first met Tim Berne, some time in 1986, he was freshly signed to CBS Records and set to make the Fulton Street Maul LP. At the time I was a staff art director at the label and he had seen a classical cover that I did the artwork for and liked it, so he requested that I be assigned to design his package.
Back then my musical tastes were somewhere around left-of-center-artrockish-punk-pedestrian-drone. When I heard Tim’s music for the first time, it confused me in a profound way, but I didn’t mind being confused and we hit it off. The results were pretty good – CBS rejected the first cover I submitted (indicating we were on the right track).
The funny thing is, that at the time, Tim saw something in my work that I didn’t know was there yet and had the courage to run with his hunch. That’s what he does. He’s taught me a lot about courage and hunches and where the right track can lead.
Long story short, we’ve worked together ever since and it’s resulted in three things: 1) it has allowed me the opportunity to create a body of work that I consider to be my best, 2) it has led me to a much deeper understanding of music and art and 3) it has given me a 30 year friendship that I couldn’t imagine my life without. It was just like I imagined making record covers should be, before I ever did one.
Music making and visual art are so related that often they both infect the same individual. Not in my case, I couldn’t play my way out of a wet paper bag on a kazoo with a gun to my head. Tim, on the other hand is one of those fortunate souls. The images he makes are astonishing to look at and a joy to work with. It is my great pleasure to put this exhibition of our work together. – Steve Byram
A Statement from Tim Berne:
When I first encountered Steve Byram some 30 years ago, his art impacted me in a powerful way, like hearing a kindred musical spirit for the first time. Though working in ostensibly different mediums, we both try to play with contrast and dimension in our work and have always shared an undiscussed yet profound understanding of the contrapuntal relationship between (my) music and (his) art. Throughout the years, Steve’s work has inspired me to find new ways of expression and more depth in my music. I often look forward to the Steve’s cover art as much as the musical document—the recording is never quite finished until Steve has put his mark on it.
For a long time, I wanted to realize a book of his drawings. When the discussion finally happened, he suggested in his typical selfless way that it should include some of my photos. He had become an advocate of my photography early on. I started taking them some years prior and would send him pictures from the road.
In addition to being one of the most inspiring artists/people I’ve ever been around, Steve is an incredible friend. To be sharing this exhibition with him is beyond my wildest dreams and a moment I’ll never forget. – Tim Berne