No.36 – Cherushii

Cherushii – Acrylic and paper on Chestnut Panel

I wanted this painting to look as though it might have washed ashore on a Pacific Coast beach. Re-reading Winter Tides by James Blaylock may be influencing me. Cherushii was a wonder – I wish I could have seen her perform and her death was a terrible loss to the world and to music.

Chelsea Faith Dolan, better known by her stage name Cherushii (September 14, 1983 – December 2, 2016), was an American electronic music producer, DJ, live performer, and radio host based in San Francisco. Influenced by house music, Detroit techno, and disco, she released several recordings on the independent dance music label 100% Silk, including Queen of Cups, Far Away So Close, and Memory of Water, reissued in 2017.

KQED named Cherushii’s album Meow Wolf’s Arcade Soundtracks: Wiggy’s Plasma Plex one of the 10 best Bay Area albums of 2016. Fellow electronic musician Maria Minerva has called Cherushii “criminally underrated”.

Dolan was one of 36 victims of a fire that broke out at an underground venue and artist collective in Oakland, California commonly referred to as the Ghost Ship warehouse on December 2, 2016.

Wikipedia Article: Cherushii

Albums

Memory of Water – 100% Silk, 2015
Cherushii & Maria Minerva – 100% Silk, 2019 (posthumous release)

Singles and EPs

Queen of Cups (12”) – 100% Silk, 2013
Far Away So Close (12”) – 100% Silk, 2015
Starlight Express (EP), 2015
Nobody’s Fool (EP), 2015
Manic (EP), 2016

Chelsea died alongside another musical hero – Cash Askew (of Them Are Us Too) who will be the subject of a future portrait in this series. Much love and memory to all those affected by the fire.

Bask in Cherushii’s sounds here: https://cherushii.bandcamp.com/

No.34 Jenny Hval

From Hval’s Website:

Jenny Hval has in recent years made a name for herself as a recording artist and writer both in her native Norway and abroad. Multidisciplinary and transgressive are words often employed to describe her art, but Jenny Hval’s polyphonic artistry is in fact seamlessly interwoven between musical, literary, visual and performative modes of expression. Her artistic voice is altogether present, accessible and obscurely complex at the same time.

Hval released her first two albums under the alias Rockettothesky (an alias named after her very first recorded song in 1999, and slayed with the greatest pleasure in 2010). She has since recorded five albums and one EP under her own name: Viscera (2011), Innocence Is Kinky (2013), Apocalypse, girl (2015), Blood Bitch (2016), The Long Sleep EP (2018) and The Practice of Love (2019). Her last four releases have been co-produced by noise legend Lasse Marhaug and herself.

She made her debut as a writer with the novel Perlebryggeriet in 2009 (published in English in 2018 as Paradise Rot). The less genre friendly Inn i ansiktet followed in 2012. Her third book and second novel, Å hate Gud, was published in 2018, and translated & published in English as Girls Against God in late 2020.

She, or who are we kidding, I, have worked on a number of collaborations, sound pieces, compositions, productions and performances.

She lives in Oslo, and doesn’t update her biography very often.

Bandcamp here: https://jennyhval.bandcamp.com/

No.31 – Holly Herndon

Holly Herndon – Acrylic on canvas

I loved painting this image, itself I believe a digitally manipulated photo emphasising the cyborg – one of the many fascinating themes explored in Herndon’s work.

Listen to and buy her music here.

Great Pitchfork review of Herndon’s most recent album PROTO (made in collaboration with Mathew Dryhurst) here.

No.30 – Ela Minus

Ela Minus – Acrylic on chestnut panel

I stumbled upon the music of Ela Minus relatively recently and immediately pre-ordered the album ‘acts of rebellion’, due for release in October. You can too, here and I think you should, as (for what it’s worth) it is shaping up to be my album of the year – and I’ve only heard the three pre-released tracks.

She had sent out an email to musical followers and I wrote back, saying I need that blast of sense, anger and musical perfection. And those are just what her music and lyrics provide.

No. 29 – Mary J Blige

Close-up

Why MJB? Why MJB? People asked me around the time I was doing this.

Well, here’s least one good reason…

That’s why

Sound and production at this level filters out and back and forth with the underground and the scenes inform and influence each other. Once a song like this hits it immediately appears ‘obvious’ but it wasn’t and it isn’t.

Because… sometimes music reaches such heights of perfection that you just have to submit to it. Here’s an excerpt from the Wikpedia article on her:

In 1992, Blige released her first album, What’s the 411? Her 1994 album My Life is among Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and Time magazine’s All-Time 100 Albums. She received a Legends Award at the World Music Awards in 2006, and the Voice of Music Award from ASCAP in 2007. Billboard ranked Blige as the most successful female R&B/Hip-Hop artist of the past 25 years. In 2017, Billboard magazine named her 2006 song “Be Without You” as the most successful R&B/Hip-Hop song of all time, as it spent an unparalleled 15 weeks atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and over 75 weeks on the chart. In 2011, VH1 ranked Blige as the 80th greatest artist of all time. ln 2012, VH1 ranked Blige at number 9 in “The 100 Greatest Women in Music” list.

If there isn’t a place for musicians this good on the list then please devise your own and paint your choices 🙂

Portrait progress, helpfully in random order, thanks to Google Photos’ collage algorithm
The Final Image

No.19 – Veronica Green

Yes, I realised my celebration of 25 portraits completed was not quite right – I’ve never been able to count properly… I have been following the work of VG for a while and she produces superb techno and electronica.

This portrait started out as a somewhat cartoon-like sketch. Later I began experimenting with drips and pours, ending up with a finish a bit like coloured glass.

From her Soundcloud write-up:

Veronica Green (Veronica Gudmundson) is based in London UK and in Sweden. V Green has released on Bass Agenda Recordings, Section 27: Sectioned V.5.0, v.6.0, v.7.0 and Touched 2, 3, Dalekovod V5: Crobot Muzik, and has compiled the Earthlings Compilation 1 and 2 together with ADJ. The most recent release is a vinyl release on the UK label Pyramid Transmissions. Veronica Green is also making music under the name ORGANISM together with ADJ.


She has played her live sets in various countries around Europe.

For more tracks and to purchases please go to veronicagreen.bandcamp.com

You can also hear some of her work here.

Below are some progress shots, illustrating the process. G-Photos have put them in an order for the photo-collage 🙂

And, finally, here’s a close-up, showing the glass-like surface.