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SIGHT_SOUND #3: Joyce Treiman x Perfume Genius

By Ben French, Curatorial Assistant

While the Museum is temporarily closed, we encourage you to view these objects in the object records by clicking the links at the end of this post.

SIGHT_SOUND is a new series that connects visual art and music. In each installation, curatorial assistant Ben French pairs one piece of art from the Columbus Museum’s permanent collection with a piece of music to explore the similarities and differences between the two art forms. Follow along on the blog, check out our YouTube playlist, and use #TCMsightsound to experience the museum in a new way.

Joyce Treiman
The Torso, The Ram, Self-Portrait with Skull,
The Smoker No. 21
Oil on canvas

Facing physical illness, Joyce Treiman shifted her creative practice from focusing on art history to exploring mortality with her sense of dry humor. These four columnar paintings employ a dense impasto that brings a harsh edge to the brooding colors of her melancholic images. At this point in her life, Treiman chose to make “paintings that nobody [would] want... in terms of making them so personal... that [they] couldn’t be turned into wallpaper” or passively digested. 

LISTEN Perfume Genius: “My Body” (2014)

Similarly, Perfume Genius’s song “My Body” examines the human form as a site of both decay and power. As a queer artist, singer Mike Hadreas has created songs in response to the homophobia society has placed on what queer people do with their bodies sexually, performatively, and culturally. The track begins with a brooding pulse and Hadreas’s shaking mumble before bursting forth with the rough boom of a synthesizer that mimics Treiman’s impasto. The lyrics that follow are both haunting and powerful as Hadreas both recognizes his mortality and flaunts his body with a sarcastic coquettishness full of queer rage and power. 

Please see links to objects below:

Panel 1: Self Portrait with Skull

Panel 2: The Ram

Panel 3: The Torso

Panel 4: The Smoker No. 21

Check out SIGHT_SOUND playlist here