In addition to his music mastery, Devendra Banhart is also a visual artist. In June this year he released two art books, a limited-edition collaboration with artist and filmmaker Adam Tullie Unburdened By Meaning, and I Left my Noodle on Ramen Street, an imaginative and playful collection of his drawings, paintings, photographs, sketches and mixed media work, generated from his habit of producing some form of artwork every day.
I Left my Noodle on Ramen Street is a narrative project of his works spanning ten years as an artist. The collection brings together an eclectic cross-section of work covering numerous disciplines as inspired by artists such as Paul Klee, Cy Twombly and Henry Darger.
Banhart studied art at the San Francisco Art Institute before he experimented with music. The artist illustrates his own album covers but his artwork has also been shown internationally and at both the esteemed San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
In an interview with fellow artist and musician, Adam Green of The Moldy Peaches fame, Banhart says of the books title, “It’s a silly title that reads well. It’s an absurd title, but it’s also literal. I lived on Ramen Street.”
Unburdened by Meaning is a documentation of collaboration between Banhart and Adam Tullie, created over a single week. The two artists worked parallel to one another in Barnhart’s New York art studio. The objective was, as the title suggests, for both artists to relinquish control of their creative minds by being entirely open to whatever course it took. The book is a bold and often colourful compilation of the journey of their weeks work.