William Kosman - Artiste Peintre

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Special Note - Column on "Six Foot Tall" by Daniel Rubin on Philadelphia Inquirer's Blog TheTalk

Fellow Art Lovers:

Just want to let you know that Daniel Rubin of the Philadelphia Inquirer has posted a column on his blog, TheTalk.

Here's a link:


Good reading.


William Kosman

Monday, December 16, 2013

# 44 - The Story Behind Rap Video "Six Foot Tall"

Fellow Art Lovers:

I sincerely hope you value my new rap video on YouTube – “Six Foot Tall.” I can honestly tell you that I put a great deal of thought and effort into it.

This is a little bit of the story of how it came to be.

Of course, painting is my profession, and I’ve been bending your ear a lot about my art these last few years. But, like a lot of folk, I get a bunch of ideas, and once in a while I feel driven to express them.  This was the case of my first rap video, “Head Held High.” I’d been upset for a long time about the human toll of gun violence, and then one day the story just came to me. When I feel something strongly, most often the words or the brush strokes come fast and furious.

A little more than a year ago, lightening struck again with “Six Foot Tall.” The concept came to me, and before I knew it, I had the lyrics and I had a group of paintings to illustrate them.

The two things lacked were he music and the resources to actually do the movie.

Last summer in France, I was talking about this with a friend, Denis Vaucelle in Normandy. Among other things, Denis is a musician and a composer. (You can hear his work at http://my.zikinf.com/vaucelle-piano) He proposed to compose original music for the video, and once we got started, he also recorded my voice and completed the soundtrack in his studio.

Okay, so I had the soundtrack, but what about someone to do a lot of video footage and then put the whole package together?  Especially when I don’t have a lot of extra money to spend. Well, I didn’t find the right person under those conditions. So, I decided to take a big gamble and try to do it myself.

The easy part was shooting footage in several Philadelphia neighborhoods, and then a fellow painter, Jim Stewart, drove me around to shoot more footage from his car. I thought I could take footage of myself rapping by simply using my camera on a tripod, but the results were unusable; thinking about the equipment, I spoke like a robot, and because of my camera adjustments, I constantly succeeded in cutting off the top of my head. Then, another art colleague, Anne Saint Peter (www.annesaintpeter.com) shot me rapping and walking in the street; I want to thank her for her ideas and artistic sense.

The biggest challenge was putting it all together.
Since I’m not a spring chicken, I had to learn iMovie to do the work on my Mac. I watched tutorials and played with the program on my Mac. But I have to admit that the greatest help in the actual production of the video were the explanations I received from the experts at my local Apple store in one-to-one sessions.

You might be asking yourself:  If he’s a painter, why do a rap video on gun violence? The short answer is, I simply have to. Something pushes me. The issue is an important one, a real life-and-death issue, and if I can help people become more sensitive about the issue, or some other issues I find important, why not get my two cents in. Also, rap videos are another way for me to share my paintings. And finally, painting, rap videos or writing fiction are ways for me to touch and communicate with more people.

Thanks for listening. If you like what you saw, please share my rap video with a friend. And if you have the time, please tell me your impressions.

If you haven’t seen “Six Foot Tall,” below is a direct link to it, and also a link to my YouTube channel.