The artist encourages passersby to become a part of the art by offering spontaneous performances on this stylized street piano open to the public. The abstracted geometric lines are an aesthetic the artist uses to symbolize disruption. This pattern has been borrowed from the research of British artist Norman Wilkinson and zoologist John Graham Kerr’s “Dazzle camouflage”, also known as razzle dazzle or dazzle painting. It was implemented and extensively used for “ship camouflage” in World War I. Dazzle painting consisted of complex patterns of geometric shapes in contrasting colors, interrupting and intersecting each other in an attempt to confuse rather than conceal. In this setting Pena’s “Razzle Dazzle ‘em Piano” is a nod to the popular phrase and also meant to transform the piano into an object of visual disruption in an urban landscape.
More about Nick Pena
The piano is open for play until 9 pm on weekdays and 10 pm on weekends.
The piano was generously donated in part by Memphis Music Store, 5237 Poplar Avenue.
Location of Razzle Dazzle