Memorial for a ghost

BY MONICA SABELLA, A&E Editor

Photo courtesy of thejohnnycashproject.com
Photo courtesy of thejohnnycashproject.com

Considered to be one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, the memory of Johnny Cash has spread from music and film to the worldwide web.

“We created this project to give Johnny Cash fans a chance to collectively make his final music video,” said Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, creaters of the Johnny Cash Project, a website which welcomes artists to share their love of the American singer through graphic art.

 

Photo courtesy of thejohnnycashproject.com
Photo courtesy of thejohnnycashproject.com

A blur of black and white sketches flash past a dark screen as the opening chords of  “Ain’t No Grave” begin to play. The website is overflowing with art work from over 250,000 contributors and 172 countries and organized by style, rating, and number of brush strokes all dedicated for “the Man in Black”.

“The whole video was full of hauntingly beautiful imagery and symbolism that worked absolutely perfectly with Johnny’s song,” said Izzyarts, a participant in the Johnny Cash Project.

Potential contributors are offered a variety of pictures to choose from, then provided tools and textures to create their personal tribute to Cash. Each finished piece is included in the video beside artwork done from fans from across the world.

“I felt really sad when he died,” remarked Colin Dunbar, from Edinburgh, UK, “I just thought it would be wonderful to contribute something to his memory.”

The video presents the pictures the same way a music box plays music. Thumbnails of the individual portraits are found under the film’s timeline. Clicking the small images opens a whole new perspective of the sketch; allowing the viewer to read information about the picture and watch the step-by-step process taken to create the finished product.

 

Photo courtesy of thejohnnycashproject.com
Photo courtesy of thejohnnycashproject.com

“It really allows this last song of his to be a living, breathing memorial,” said Xeneria and artist from California.

Johnny may be gone, with no grave to hold him, but his fans will never let his memory die.