ART & CULTURE | by AIDHA BADR | 09 JULY 2020
TIM FITE: WHAT DO YOU SEE?
Tim Fite - called a “cultural gadﬂy” by the New York Times and “ferally original” by the New Yorker - used to be an artsy rapper. Now he's just artsy. He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t do drugs. He prefers solitude/contemplation to hobnobbing/affectation. This preference affords Fite the time/freedom to make large scale, compositionally complex, allegorical, black and white drawings that occasionally have a musical or performative component. Fite believes creativity, communication, compassion, and hard work are the keys to fostering a more benevolent and inclusive society, and hopes his art and music can contribute to that end.
As a musician and an artist, Fite has tried keep art and music as two separate elements," For ever and ever, I kept my art and music separate - I didn't think they could occupy the same space without tarnishing each other. It was kind of a snobby perspective. I thought of my songs as popular music - not art. And, I thought of my art as esoteric and high falootin, not suitable for popular consumption. Now that I'm old and comfortable in my self-imposed obscurity, I can see that by compartmentalizing my talents, I was holding myself back. Rather than tarnishing each other, the art and music lift each other up. My last two albums have both been rooted in drawing. I sing when I put up a big ass mural. I have even taken to drawing on stage during concerts. All this alows me to express myself fully, and manifest empathy and compassion in others. Like the Gravediggaz say Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation. So, now there is no longer a distinct line between art and music. It feels good to finally just let myself enjoy being an ambidextrous amphibian who can pat his head and rub his belly at the same time." Fite tells LOS GATOS.
This Ink Blot series by Tim Fire titled What Do You See? was created as a companion piece to a music/drawing project called Roar Shack. "I am interested the Rorschach test, because it links the visual and the psychological through interpretation and play. Drawing has always been and intersection of these things for me. I like idea of getting to a place of deeper understanding via the simple question of “What do you see?”" Fite tells LOS GATOS.
What Do You See 1-9, 2019. Acrylic ink blots on paper; 9 x 11 inches
All images courtesy the artist.