Artwork of the Week: September 20, 2020

 In MOA Artwork of the Week

James Christensen, Duet for Single Musician

James C. Christensen (1942-2017), Duet for Single Musician, 1982, acrylic on board. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1994.

Former BYU faculty member, James C. Christensen, is best known for whimsical, yet insightful images inspired by fairy tales, legends, and his Christian faith. His imaginative paintings include characters like trolls, mermaids, angels, and this amusing musician.

Christensen contrasts the figure’s incredibly thin fingers, legs, music stands, and brass instruments with his voluminous and extravagant clothing as he performs a two-part piece. The disarming wit and impossibility of the musician’s task invite humor as well as reflection on our own profound human dilemmas: how can one person be expected to play two parts?

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