Play Me I’m Yours - Walter Sickert’s Street Piano Boston
Halooo Toy Chest Lovelies!
I’m REALLY excited to write this post about a HUGE PUBLIC ART PROJECT that Walter is lucky enough to be involved in!
Street Pianos BOSTON!!!! (read about the history of Street Pianos, the Boston sponsors of the program, and see locations and pics of other artist’s pianos!)
(the Piano in its original form - a Henry F Miller - MADE IN BOSTON in 1889)
Walter put a great deal of thought as to how he would reinvent this piano. As you can see, it’s absolutely LOVELY. Beautiful in form and function; a truly classic piano. AND it was MADE IN BOSTON! Walter wanted to keep as much of the original detailing as possible while still giving it the WS InkDrip treatment.
He drew up several plans, made mockups and after much deliberation decided to COVER the piano with WS InkDrips of people we LOVE. Music and art are very important to Walter, it’s who he is, how he defines himself, but even more important is YOU. The people he shares this music and art with. We could not do this without you, and this piano is the embodiment of MUSIC, ART and YOU all mixed together! This piano honors YOU!
AND BEHOLD -> -> -> “The Piano of Love and Tentacles" was born!
(finished piano with bench)
It took a couple of weeks to transform this old beauty into a new beauty. But we were fortunate enough to be able to work in a LOVELY studio in a huge light-filled warehouse on the South Boston waterfront AND we got to meet TONS of the other artists who were also hard at work transforming their pianos into ahhhhmazing art!
(Photo of Ben Knight!)
LOOK FOR IT AT One Kendall Square in Cambridge just outside of Belly Wine Bar (might as well stop in for a drink before/after you play it!)
(The Piano of Love & Tentacles - out in the wild! photo by songstress @_ModernLover)
Now you may wonder… why is 1/2 of the piano in colour and 1/2 in black & white - well, as with all of Walter’s art there is some mystery. There are, in fact, several secrets hidden in this piano. Some of which are easy to find, and some may take work to suss out. When you go see it in person, be sure to PLAY it! Post pictures and video of your experience with the piano. Look at it closely, see if you can spot some of its secrets. Be sure to TAG your FB, Vine, Twitter, Instagram etc. posts with #StreetPianosBoston #WalterSickert
(jojo enjoying her sheet music)
We sincerely hope you can play this lovely creation before it leaves its temporary home for destinations unknown!
Thank you to the sponsors, donors and other artists who made this fantastic public art project a reality!
Love & Tentacles
A few words from Walter Sickert himself:
After being asked to join a host of other talented artists to re-imagine a piano for this huge public art project, it became clear to me that for my first public work I wanted to create a piano that embodied my passion for music and art as well as my gratefulness for our city’s art community. A WIREFOREST of love & tentacles that spreads across the globe. This is for all of you and I hope you get to make beautiful noise in the streets of Boston.
Below are some images of the piano in process!
(detail of the left panel - angel relief - BEFORE)
(detail of the left panel - angel relief - DURING - note that we gave it a burnished effect so that the beautiful details of the panel would stand out)
(detail of the left panel - angel relief - AFTER)
(detail of the center panel - more angels - BEFORE)
(center panel in progress)
(closeup of center panel - nearly complete!)
(center panel, burnishing and WS InkDriping DONE! I am sure you see a few familiar faces here!)
(speaking of familiar faces… Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Walter Sicket, LuQ, Irina, Seth, Martha, Lainey, Phil, Baby Grey, Rachel Jayson, Dali, Erin Morgenstern, Mali, Amandacera, Queen of all Geeks, Paisley, Dave, Randy’s dog, Sarah, Rudolf, Jill Tracy, Tad, Mary Widow, Ivan, Edrie, Meff etc. etc. etc TOO MANY TO NAME! )
(Walter, playing his creation for the 1st time)
(a closeup of the keys - Walter’s playing one of our songs!)
9/27/2013 - UPDATE - FAQ by Edrie
so a HUGE number of you have contacted me about the details of this project. Def go to the host site HERE and read up, I think most of your questions will be answered with a little poking around.
Here are answers to your other burning questions:
1. Q: How did the artists get picked? A: I don’t know how everyone else got picked, but Walter was chosen because of his link to the music and visual arts community. We knew a few months ahead of time that it was coming, but didn’t really prepare until we knew what piano he would have. After all, how can you design something without knowing what the base is going to be like. From the time we knew what piano we were getting to the finished piano, was about 2 weeks. The bulk of the work was in preparation and planning. The execution took roughly seven days working around 10-15 hours a day. There was then a couple of days of wait time for everything to dry and a couple of coats water resistant sealer to apply… all told, around 150 hours were spent in the execution and nearly that much spent in the planning.
2. Q: How much did Walter get paid? A: Walter did not get paid, none of the artists did. They got a $50 reimbursement for materials but no actual $ (and note, it cost $464 in materials for Walter’s piano)
3. Q: Do you get to keep the piano? A: No, probably not… I say probably because we HOPE that we can somehow acquire it, but the program will likely donate it to a community group. Maybe we can go visit it…
4. Q: How will it last in the rain? A: It has some water resistant coating on it, and there is a tarp for it, but it’s pretty much got to fend for itself. We weather proofed it as much as possible, but there isn’t much protecting it from the elements.
5. Q: Are you worried someone will draw dicks on the piano. A: There are already dicks drawn on the piano (actually probably no dicks, but a whole lotta lady parts are drawn on it!), and again, public art project, really not much we can do about it.
6. Q: How did you pick what InkDrips to put on it? A: I had every piece of art printed (NOT FINE ART PRINTS, just regular old laser prints) in both color and black and white that Walter has ever done with people we personally know on them. They were placed based on the curves of the piano - basically if a picture belonged in a spot, that’s where it went. I tried to get as many people as I could on there - it was over 700 unique drawings! (Yes 700 illustrations of people WE ACTUALLY KNOW - done by Walter - he’s a bit crazy…)
More questions? Hit me up! edrie <at> armyoftoys <dot> com
MOAR PICS of Walter’s Piano in the wild!
THE FINALE of Walter’s Piano was held on 10/14 - we gathered to play it and say goodbye - here is one of the songs we played