I’ve got a thing for the guitar. Partly because I am fascinated by guitarists — I have had crushes on some. And partly because it’s the only instrument I know how to play, albeit not well. I love that it’s down-to-earth and not snobbish at all, but rather extremely approachable! People from all walks of life can touch it, play it, listen to it.
Mostly I just find it wonderful and magical how this amalgamation of wood and strings can create music.
One of my best memories is waking up one morning in the deck of a my college roommate’s family’s beach house to a beautiful sunrise, cool ocean breeze, and the sound of a friend playing his guitar against the background of waves rippling onto the shore. I just lay there relishing the moment, the experience of sheer contentment.
But even when it’s mute, a guitar’s beauty remains — in the grain of its wood, in the gracefulness of its neck, in the curves of its body, in its strings, knobs, frets. In and by itself a guitar is a sculpture — an enthrallingly engaging kind, one that can be held and touched, one that responds to its player’s embrace with a melody.
Do we wonder then that the guitar is not only a muse to countless musicians, but painters, sculptors, photographers and crafters as well?
Pablo Picasso was a fan, allowing the guitar to share in the bleakness of his blue period, and in the exuberance of his ground-breaking experimentation a decade later. I was quite enamored of his sheet metal guitar, that I made a version of it (attempted to) in pottery class some years ago.
Here’s another one I’ve made, a product of some musings on how womanly the guitar’s shape is.
Here are other awesome expressions of other artists’ affinity for this amazing stringed instrument.