San Francisco Bay Area-based artist Shawn Feeney’s drawings are an expression of synesthesia — the ability to experience the physical properties associated with one sense through another. Feeney’s “Musical Anatomy” series is the artist’s visualization of music as well as an homage to several pioneering musicians. The concept for the series began with the idea that musical instruments are like prosthetics for body parts that humans never had — tools that enable us to transcend the limited noise-making capabilities of our anatomies.
“Musical Anatomy” was born as a playful exploration of the human impulse to express ourselves through sound. A drawing of a man whose face extends into a multi-horned saxophone pays tribute to the instrument’s inventor, Adolphe Sax; a woman’s teeth extend into metal keys in a drawing devoted to the Zimbabwean singer and mbira player, Stella Chiweshe. Feeney’s website gives the detailed back stories of each piece.