Celebrity Art Party with Amy Abshier Reyes

Celebrity Art Party is a semi-occurring feature, wherein the artists we enjoy interpret their favorite song. This installment features Amy Abshier-Reyes, whom we’d never met before being introduced at a Spoon show a few months back, but quickly discovered her to be a fantastic and interesting person. Abshier-Reyes’ work is a collection of haunting portraits, and her piece for Celebrity Art Party is no different.

Amy Abshier-Reyes - Joy Division 'Ceremony' web

Song title: “Ceremony”

Artist: Joy Division/New Order

Version of song (live, album, remix, etc.): I really love the New Order 12″ version, originally released in 1981 on Factory Records.


Why this song?
This has been one of my favorite songs since I was in my teens. It’s always struck a chord with me, pun intended.

When did you first hear it?
I must have been 14 or 15; I honestly don’t remember. I think it crept into my subconscious and just sort of simmered there until I was ready for it.

How does music such as this inspire you in your work?
There’s always music in my studio, in my car, in my home, in the back of my mind… It can alter my mood, letting me settle down into a receptive, creative zone. I’m not a musician, but music is one of my oldest loves. It’s a huge part of my life and I listen to so many different kinds. Everything from shoegaze to bossa nova to punk to old country to new wave to psychedelic to electronica … I could go on and on.

How has this song changed for you since you first heard it?
I don’t know that it has; I still feel the same emotions and sensations that I remember having listening to it as a kid. I sometimes joke that this better get played at my funeral, or someone’s gonna be in trouble.

What upcoming projects do you have?
I’m always working on new pieces. I love painting eyes, so I paint a lot of single eye portraits, almost like the miniature lovers’ eye portraits that were popular in Georgian times. I generally have work available to view at the Blue Gallery in Kansas City.

You can find more information about Amy Abshier-Reyes at her Facebook page or buy things from her via Etsy.