To create this work, I built an audio/visual synthesizer using an assembly of synth modules for the auditory component and then custom built visualization synths to convert the audio signal to a visual format.

I then had the image woven with museum-quality dyed thread on an industrial loom. It is stretched over heavy duty stretcher bars and comes ready to hang. The tapestry is an image of sound. In the detail images, you will notice many colors throughout the composition. I used a weaving for the final artwork because the surface textures most closely resemble the analog sound's image. This work is one in a large series.

The work is framed with a matte black wood canvas floater frame. It is 2'' deep with a 3/8'' face and 5/16'' of space between the art surface and the frame face.

- Jack R. Mesa

Sound as Paint X (Soft Synesthesia)

Fiber artwork

Ready to hang

Signed on back

36" h x 24" w x 2" d
5 lbs. 0 oz.



Jack R. Mesa
Oakland, California

Getting to Know Jack R.

Jack R Mesa depicts his subjects in a visual medium blended with a layer of sound to explore his personal experience of synesthesia. Synesthesia is the phenomenon where the brain interprets one sense as another - experiencing sound as colors, for example. His earlier series of paintings uses color blocks and abstract shapes to depict sounds, as seen in his series '100 Sounds' (see Sold works). His newer series explores a new medium, using tapestry to literally weave together sounds and colors into his large format works, for example his series 'Soft Synesthesia.' In addition to capturing a photo of his subject, he also records the sounds of a place and overlays the two into a final image in his Oakland studio. He joins other artists, including Carol Steen, David Hockney, and Kandinsky who reportedly see sounds. This is the closest that a non-synesthete may come to viewing the world through Jack's eyes. Mesa has recently exhibited at Berkeley Art Museum (Berkeley, CA), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA), and Material Art Fair (Mexico City, MX).