TAX | CAge the elephant
'Tell me i'm pretty': a tumblr irl art project
The TAX Collection collaborated with American rock band Cage the Elephant for an interpretive project based off of lyrics for their newest album Tell Me I'm Pretty. Installed at the Tumblr IRL event and album release party in Nashville, TN, their piece explores lyrics from the record's lead single "Mess Around". Without listening to the music, this 72" x 72" collage depicts what artists Max Berman and Tanner Steslow interpreted from the provided lyrics.
This piece was created with the intention of showcasing the lyrics, as well as using visual rhetoric to relay our interpretation of the words back to the piece. Our recurring image of the bare female embodying the sexual undertones of the song, the ‘rising of the heat’ and mounting tension. Our various cultural icons displayed are tied in with everyday objects such as Bibles, branded foods, and cigarillos, creating a sense of disillusionment and confusion. Ultimately, we felt the lyrics represented the mounting tension of a situation and the eventual release that’s felt when a resolution has been reached, through whatever means suits the individual. What we don’t know is the cause of this unrest, and there’s a sense of mystery behind the words, a duality that we tried to represent through these contrasting visual icons. Rich or poor, famous or mundane lives, we all struggle with tension whether it be sexual, social, societal, we all in the end are seeking answers, and it’s through sorting through these emotions that we’re able to come to terms with a solution and a sense of resolution. We felt the medium of collage represents the confusion of rifling through your thoughts and feelings, and it’s through compartmentalizing and the deconstruction down of a situation that allows for a final resolution.