Music is part of the fabric of our lives. Bughouse art provides a provocative look at how deeply those threads are woven into our cultural psyche. Jeff Klarin’s work is collected by music lovers around the world, as it visually epitomizes the art of a killer music collection. His images, from album and cassette spines, to turntables and vintage stereo systems, evoke cherished sonic memories.
The Los Angeles native shared some insights about his imagery and inspirations.
What inspired you to start making music-based art?
I am a music lover. I was first inspired to create this series while looking at the simple beauty of vinyl record spines on my shelf. For me it wasn’t only a celebration of music but how the spines lined up and created an abstract tapestry of color and texture. The tape spines jump out at you more because there is more bold color and the names are more readable. But when they are grouped together they also have an intrinsic beauty.
Do you collect all of the vintage vinyl and tapes you use in your Wall of Sound artwork?
Relative to some audiophiles, I have a modest collection of over 3000 vinyl records and around 1000 cassette tapes which I use to make the music pieces for Wall of Sounds.
How long have you been making Bughouse art? Can you tell us more about the Bughouse team of Jeff Klarin and Rebecca Johnson?
Rebecca and I have been working under Bughouse Art and Design for nearly 10 years. We still run a graphic design business we started in the mid ‘90s. We are both partners in Bughouse and life. We have two dogs.
Your artwork has been featured in many publications and in several TV shows and movies. What do you think is the appeal?
We are a symbiotic team that loves bold, simple, and universal images. We celebrate pop culture while attempting to remain glib-free. We don’t try to be clever but draw from subjects and objects that we love and inspire us. We feel our work has qualities that people can relate to immediately and create an immediate reaction in them.
What is your favorite music format for everyday listening—vinyl, CDs, digital?
In my studio I toggle between my iPod and my Kenwood receiver playing vinyl on my Technics turntable.