Artwork by Suzanne LaFleur

Hearing the Colors

As guests filled Flomenhaft Gallery for the Art & Music Soiree last Wednesday, Benefit Print Project Co-Director Paul Limperopolous made an observation that would become the inspiration for the evening. Upon looking at Suzanne’s paintings on display, Mr. Limperopolous said it was as though he were “hearing the colors” emanating from the canvas surface. Synesthesia is simply defined as a neurological phenomena during which a “union of the senses” occurs. Synesthesia in art can be traced to ancient Greece, specifically the notion that music can be linked to the visual arts. Colors can be heard, sounds can be seen in colorful hues. Soon, Suzanne’s vibrant paintings were joined by the intoxicating rhythms of Deanna Kirk and band.

Ms. Kirk is an award-winning jazz singer with four albums to her name. Originally from Long Island, she moved to New York City to pursue a career as a jazz singer. It didn’t take long for NYC’s music scene to pick up on Ms. Kirk’s talent and she was offered her own jazz club. She is a captivating performer whose charisma and love for music can be sensed every time she takes the stage.

Early in the performance, Ms. Kirk noted that Jazz is very much about the art of improvisation. She performs regularly with band members Les Rogers (trumpet), Greg Rugiro (guitar) and Aiden Odonell (bass), but they never have a set list planned. On this particular evening, songs were chosen on the fly, then introduced with an exciting twist. Ms. Kirk connected lyrics and melodies with colors while making reference to Suzanne’s painting “Breaking Light,” which doubled as a backdrop.  Song highlights included: “Imagination,” “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was,” “How High the Moon,” Smile,” “How Deep is the Ocean,” “But Not For Me,” and “Long As You’re Living.”  The melodic mood swayed from song to song, taking on a visual experience of the colors of red, blue, yellow, and green pulsating through out the painting’s composition.

2015 is already shaping up to be a great year for Suzanne. In addition to exhibiting in “Women Only” at Flomenhaft Gallery, she was featured in the exhibition “Outside the Lines: Modernist Drawings” alongside Keith Haring and Andy Warhol at the National Arts Club and was presented by Lawrence Fine Art at the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair.

Deanna Kirk and band perform every Wednesday at Cucina di Pesce located at 87 East 4th St. (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues).



1 Comment
  1. Suzanne, what a marvelous writeup! I have synaesthesia and hear noise as my eyes wander…especially in a gallery! Your color palette is so lively, so vibrant… I would love to see your work in person and “catch the buzz”! Amy

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