Written by: Karen Gavis
Victory Park’s latest public art addition, a steel pipe sculpture that is 15 feet tall and 34 feet wide, is a vibrant throwback to Dallas’ musical roots.
Las Vegas-based artist Tim Bavington, originally from England, is known for his musically themed creations laden with brightly colored automotive paint. While he’s never played in a band, Bavington says he is a devoted music fan, and his work consciously bridges the gap between the aural and visual.
His work for Victory Park, titled “Matchbox,” is no exception.
“The piece is a visual translation of the same-titled song recorded by The Beatles in 1964, which was chosen for both its connection to the artist’s British roots and the song’s Texan roots,” a press release about the sculpture reads. “It was performed by blues singer Blind Lemon Jefferson in 1927, whose career began with playing Dallas street corners just a few miles from Victory Park.”
Victory Park spokeswoman Abby Waldron describes Bavington’s work as reminiscent of 1960s Op Art.
“In his sculpture, he aligns the 12 notes of the musical scale with 12 tones of color from the color wheel and creates the installation of musical energy translated to vertical bands of colored steel,” she says.
Bavington’s work also reflects the neon hues of Vegas, where he moved in the early ’90s. He received a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and is now on the faculty.
Guitar scales are often integrated into his art, and many of these sculptures and paintings belong to public art collections at institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
Some of Bavington’s creations have defined color boundaries, causing them to resemble barcodes, while others have colors that swirl like the aurora borealis.
“As an artist, I’m inspired by many artists throughout history — mostly Manet to the present day,” he tells the Observer.
“Matchbox” will join various other artworks at Victory Park, from the murals of local artist Lesli Marshall to the “Victory-sign,” a hand gesture constructed of steel by California-based artist Nathan Mabry. Other pieces are expected to debut in coming months.
Victory Park, a 75-acre mixed-use development in downtown Dallas that surrounds American Airlines Center, has more than 20 restaurants and retailers.
“We want to give people unique, memorable experiences when they come to Victory Park,” says Terry Montesi, CEO of Trademark Property Co. “Tim’s work, along with the other public art spread throughout the district, is sure to be a highlight.”
Trademark Property Co. and Estein USA are redeveloping Victory Park and have plans to add 85,000 square feet of new retail space. Among the tenants forthcoming are Orangetheory Fitness, Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas, and The 23, a 285-unit apartment community. More parking is also in the works.
In the meantime, Bavington will keep working on his musically inspired creations. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports he recently teamed up with folk singer Jewel on “Mercy,” named for a song on her 2015 album, Picking up the Pieces. That sculpture is a permanent monument to honor first responders and others affected by the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1.