Behind the Lens With Michael Reilly
I am a painter of jazz, when the painting is right you can see the music come through the brush. I have been painting of 25 years, Jazz to me is the perfect thing to paint; it combines both my passions.
View more Michael Reilly photos at All About Jazz
Pen, Ink, paint.
Teachers and/or influences?
I knew I wanted to be a photographer when...
I have always loved music and jazz since i was very young, I found an old jazz photo book at the dump one day and that started my current series, portrait of jazz.
Your approach to photography:
I have been painting for 25 years and jazz for the past 10 years. I love the hunt for LPs and listening to the musicians, as I paint them, so their music directly influences the painting.
Your teaching approach/philosophy:
I like to research obscure musicians and paint them to help keep their memory alive, I have used Lee Friedlander's images a lot.
Your biggest challenge when shooting indoor (or low lighted) events:
I often go to concerts and paint live, that is very cool; I have a very compact setup and can paint in any situation.
Your biggest challenge when shooting outdoor events:
I paint small at concerts, they turn into larger works in the studio, My biggest paintings are 9'x12'; this past summer I was the festival artist for the New Haven Jazz Fest. We did a public jazz painting 36' long.
Favorite venue to shoot:
I recently had a show at the OK Jazz Hall of Fame. and did the cover art for Giuseppi Logan's new album.
Favorite festival to shoot:
I have been going to the Montreal Jazz Fest for the past eight years, and this gives me more than a year's worth of work to do in the studio. I often come home with over 200 sketches.
Where was your first assignment location?
I am going to be the festival artist this year for the New Haven Jazz Fest again, with a new public art project.