Electric guitar (Pro II U series Urchin Deluxe model)

1984
Arai Company (Aria trademark) (Japanese)


Object Place: Nagoya, Japan

Dimensions

Overall: 103.5 x 38.1 x 4.5cm (40 3/4 x 15 x 1 3/4in.)

Accession Number

2009.2417

Medium or Technique

Ash, maple, rosewood, plastic, steel, brass, nickel silver

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments

Classifications

Chordophones

The dramatic curves of the Urchin guitar might have been inspired by the spiny points of the instrument’s sea-dwelling namesake, or they might suggest the sinister fins of a shark. Regardless, the reference to ocean life is evident, with the deeply shaded blue-black varnish over a striped maple veneer that suggests ripples in a sandy beach as the ocean breaks over it. Various other guitar models from the 1980s experimented with abstract, pointed designs, as heavy-metal bands sometimes used their instrument’s weapon-like appearance as a visual complement to the loud, thrashing music that was their trademark. Probably inspired by the work of B.C. Rich, a California guitar maker who started building guitars with similarly spiky outlines a decade earlier, the Urchin never sold as well as the company’s more traditionally shaped models of classic American guitars.

Provenance

By 1993, Daddy's Junky Music, Salem, New Hampshire; November 19, 1993, sold by Daddy's Junky Music to Michael Wright, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 2009, sold by Wright to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 27, 2009)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Carol T. and Robert P. Henderson