Murray Favro is a painter, sculptor, and musician. He was a key figure in the fertile arts scene of the 1960s in London, Ontario. In 1965, he was a founding member of the Nihilism Spasm Band, an experimental collective dedicated to exploring uncharted territories for sound. In the late 1960s, Favro began to make his own guitars, which are all functional musical instruments as well as sculptural objects. “One of my early sculptured paintings,” he recalls, “turned into my first guitar used in the band.”
As early as 1971, Favro had already executed a core body of Guitars, perhaps ten in total. He would often use parts of an earlier Guitar in the construction of its successor, and so it would survive only if it was exhibited and sold. There is a remarkable diversity to the Guitars as a group. Factors of weight, size, colour, and the like differ widely from one piece to the next. Favro’s guitars demonstrate the full extent of the artist’s inventive genius. The Guitar offered here possesses all the dramatic originality and freshness that distinguish his best work. It leads us to ask the timeless question, What is creativity?