Artist with Entangled Senses Paints Musical Explosions
Melissa McCracken creates artwork based on how she sees songs—a unique perspective she has due to a sensory phenomenon
Most people can only enjoy music one way: listening to it. Others, who have the neurological phenomenon called synesthesia, can experience music, and any other sensory event, with multiple senses. Those with synesthesia may link colors to specific words or numbers or may see colors when they hear different sounds, including music. Melissa McCracken gives us a glimpse of what it’s like to experience this multiple sensory effect by painting the music the ways she sees it.
The Kansas City-based artist creates colorful paintings that replicate what she sees when she listens to music, with each painting representing a specific song. PSFK spoke with McCracken about her life, her sensory experience, and her art.