My friend Jhun introduced the Second Viennese School to me during 2009. (Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, and Alban Berg) Their music lit a spark inside of me. I listened to their music, read about their lives, and created sculptural interpretations that incorported their atonal methodology that expresses the pain of exile, of life, and my own physical struggle with chronic pain.
The Second Viennese School was the beginning of artistic expression that heralded a new age of music, in tandem with cubist painting, existential theatre, and all western culture that broke through traditional classical art to allow a freer and deeper expression of the tragic human condition prior to and after two world wars. I was so inspired that I contacted Arnold Schoenberg’s son to gain permission to use his family’s name, and physical format of his scores, in the body of some of my work. I still often create sculptural interpretations with a basic root ‘note’ being atonal music. It seems automatic to me now, or subconsious, that the artistic periods most influential to my work are those of cubism, DADA, and German Expressionism, with the use of a Constructivist color palette, and an atonal harmonic feel. The original work from these periods were created to express the truth of life, unhindered by any influence from cultural, religious, political, or economic authority.
Paul Cahan December 2014
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