Emily Rankin 🖼️
Pay Your Way in Pain
This piece was created as an attempt to capture the visuals associated with St. Vincent’s song Pay Your Way in Pain from her 2021 album Daddy’s Home. I have synesthesia, a co-mingling of the senses, which allows me the ability to see shape, color, and texture in sound, and my work is centered around sharing these deeply personal experiences with the world.
The piece can be viewed as a chronology of the song from left to right and is mixed media, mainly acrylics, with details in ink, highlighter, paint pen, spray adhesive, and chalk pastel. I chose to paint the song as a landscape, with the ground representing the bass line, the vocals drifting above and changing color based on the tonality and emotionality of the singer, and other elements represented as clouds, lightning, steam, and waves. It’s my hope that sharing my own synesthetic experience will provide new ways of looking at and thinking about music, visual art, and how the two are intertwined.
About the Artist
Emily Rankin was born in Riverside, California and attended university in Abilene, Texas, where she received a BFA in 2011. Her body of work ranges from graphic design and scenic painting to collaborative performances with Verstehen, an interactive series which incorporates synesthesia, live painting, sound, and electronics. She is currently based in New Mexico. Find her online at eerankinart.com.