28 September 2016

Jazz Players by Matthew Alexander

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We spotted this mural going up on the back walls of North Shore Place I and II and contacted the developer to find out more. They connected us directly with the artist, Matthew Alexander, who told us this about the installation:

...the graphic covers an area about 20 feet high and over 200 feet long on the backside of a set of retail buildings that overlook a large tailgating lot for the Steelers and Pirates as well as a freeway.

The North Shore Place I & II mural depicts the shadows of jazz musicians being cast up onto the rear of the buildings. The concept is to show the abstracted depictions of some of Pittsburgh’s most famous jazz musicians: Roy Eldridge, Ray Brown, Errol Garner, and Kenny Clarke, who are playing their instruments in a sort of back–alley, while what remains is their cast shadows.

The limitations I had to work within were set prior to my involvement: 1–2 colors, and silhouettes of jazz musicians. I worked with Rob Dower, an architect with Strada Architecture to complete and approve the design.

You can spot the mural from the Fort Duquesne bridge ramp. It makes the building stand out from the crowd and seems to be a perfect example of how art makes a difference. This very low key, subtle image totally changes the personality of the otherwise plain, brick building and parking lot.

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