Home Leisure & Sports The Sporting Life: Michael Weintrob InstrumentHead Edition

The Sporting Life: Michael Weintrob InstrumentHead Edition

by Cass Teague



OZ Arts Nashville is presenting a special Nashville edition of InstrumentHead, a series of portraits Brooklyn-based music photographer has shot since 2006, depicting a vast diversity of entertainers with their instruments in front of their heads. Seventy-five 3’ x 4’ artist prints, most of them featuring musicians based in the city, will be installed throughout OZ Arts’ expansive warehouse space, at 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle. The event, part of OZ Arts Nashville’s local spotlight series, TNT (Thursday Night Things), will bring the photos to life with performances by the musicians.

At OZ Arts, InstrumentHead portraits of approximately 50 Nashville musicians will be exhibited. The artists span bluegrass, rock, electronic music and other genres—a diversity representative of both Weintrob’s project and Nashville’s ever-expanding music scene. Many of these musicians will perform on October 16: Jeff Coffin (Dave Mathews Band), Roy “Futureman” Wooten (Bela Fleck and Flecktones), Peter Keys (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Tim O’Brien (Hot Rize), Bucky Baxter (Bob Dylan), Jim Oblon (Paul Simon), Dave Rowe (Johnny Cash), Dave Pomeroy and Kenny Olson (Kid Rock).

The exhibition will include portraits of numerous other Nashville musicians, such as Sam Bush, Jim Lauderdale, Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck and Flecktones), Crystal Taliefero (Billy Joel), Ron and Rob McCoury, Fats Kaplan (Jack White), Alison Brown, Shannon and Ashley Campbell.

With InstrumentHead, Weintrob has captured uniquely intimate expressions of over 400 artists’ identities without ever showing their faces. His subjects include Bootsy Collins, Mickey Hart, Junior Brown, Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers, and Derek Trucks, to name just a few.

On October 16, guests are invited to enjoy OZ Arts’ lounge and outdoor sculpture garden, eats from Dawg Daze and Jeni’s Ice Cream, and a cash bar. The exhibition will include iPads with biographical information about the subjects, and InstrumentHead making-of films. This presentation of InstrumentHead is made possible by support from JakPrints and Griffin Technology. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.oznashville.com for $10, or at the door for $12. OZ is located at in Nashville, TN.

Following the event on Thursday, October 16 at 6:30pm, InstrumentHead will remain on view at OZ Arts Nashville Friday, October 17, 11am – 8pm, and Saturday, October 18, 11am – 3pm. Michael Weintrob has been shooting artist portraits and live music professionally since 1998. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, Mojo, Billboard, Relix, Downbeat and Jazz Times, among other publications. The InstrumentHead concept evolved by chance when, during a typical portrait photo shoot, Weintrob began suggesting artists put their instruments down their shirts, “just to spice things up a bit and get creative.” His subjects responded so positively to the idea that the series took on a life of its own. Now more than 250 artists from around the world have participated in the project.

Weintrob explains, “The first thing I tell the artist is that I’d like to tell their story through the photo, and include what makes them special as a musician. I also ask, ‘How are your fans going to know that it’s you without seeing your face?’ So people show up with all the stuff that distinguishes them, and together we figure out how to incorporate it all into the portrait.”

Weintrob’s eclectic collection ranges from mainstream to cult musicians and spans numerous genres. The series has been featured on NPR’s “The Checkout,” and in Popular Photography and Luxxe Immo Fine Art Magazine. InstrumentHead has been shown at the Gathering of the Vibes Music Festival in 2010 and 2011, at Mountain Jam Music Festival in 2010, and at the Barcelona Voll-Damm International Jazz Festival in 2011, with the support of the United States Consulate.

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